About 100 mathematics students from around the world have come to Ariel University to compete in its 10th annual Mathematics Olympiad. Participants are competing to solve math problems under the pressure of time.The first event was held in 2007 under the direction of Prof. Alexander Domoshnitsky, head of the university’s mathematics department, in cooperation with Dr. Roman Yavetz, a senior lecturer in the department.“It is exciting to see young mathematicians from many countries coming to Israel to compete,” Domoshnitsky said this week. He will discuss faculty and graduate studies in applied mathematics, including using mathematics in medicine and navigation.“Many people think mathematics is an abstract concept with no practical application,” he added. “We show that math has a proven ability to assist in the analysis of real phenomena and to be applied. I invite those who are hesitant about [which] field of academic studies they choose to come to hear about the possibilities that mathematics opens up to them.Math is not only fascinating and challenging, but it has been a paying vocation for hundreds of years.”About 80 participants from Russia, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria and Georgia are here for the event, which began on Monday and will conclude on Wednesday. They have been joined by almost 50 Israelis chosen out of 5,000 who competed in the early stages of the competition.In the personal competition, the competitors will be required to solve eight complex problems within four hours. The international committee, which includes professors from several countries, is examining their work. In the group competition, one problem will be displayed at a time, with the teams having to solve each problem in 20 minutes. The group score for each problem will be determined by the success of the other teams: the score will be higher when fewer teams reach the correct answers, and the score will be lowest when all teams have been able to solve the problem.The website of the Olympiad, which includes sample math problems, is www.iolymp.net/olymp.