The Corner

Kid Math Whizzes of the World

Top ten: Taiwan, Finland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Macau, Japan, New Zealand.

Subtract out nations that (1) have East Asian populations, or (2) have a member of the Germanic family as their main language, and you’re left with … Finland. What is it with those Finns? I tried to do justice to their mathematical abilities in Prime Obsession (Endnote 97), drawing on Prof. Gustav Elfving’s invaluable History of Mathematics in Finland, 1828—1918, but their contributions are still too little recognized.

I see that Polish kids seem to be doing well in reading. When you look at the written Polish language, this is pretty amazing.


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