Chittesh Thavamani of APL Global School, Chennai, was declared the ‘Student Mathematician of the Year’ in the Raffles Institution Maths Challenge 2013 presented by The Hindu In School and conducted by online maths education service provider HeyMath!, here on Sunday.

A student of class VIII, Chittesh was among the 100 students who made it to the second round of the test that had 15 questions to be answered in an hour. “I didn’t answer all the questions. I left one unanswered and had doubts in a couple of others. But the test is about applying concepts that we learn in school. Spending the time wisely also mattered,” said the youngster, who plans to gift his prize of an Apple iPad to his mother.

Over 3,200 students of classes VII, VIII and IX from 1,100 schools participated in the online test held on October 20. The top 100 were selected for the second and final round held at PSBB School, K.K. Nagar. The questions were based on arithmetic, calculation, geometry, counting and investigative problems.

Class IX student Paras Bodke of Wisdom International School, Nasik, who came in second, said he loved physics and mathematics, and spent most of his time studying. “The questions were very easy but I didn’t have time to attempt all of them. These are not questions that you get in your school textbook,” he said.

S. Sivasubramaniayan, a student of class IX in Maharishi Vidya Mandir who bagged the fifth place, said he had had practice in cracking similar questions in his IIT coaching.

The only girl among the top five, Keerthana K. of PSBB School in K.K. Nagar, said the questions tested concepts and the creative ability of students. “It makes us think out-of-the-box and put ourselves in another person’s place,” she said.

HeyMath! co-founder and CEO Harsh Rajan said this was the first time the contest was organised in India.

“We have been organising it in Singapore since 2008. Way back in 2000, when I was a banker, we saw many children were shying away from maths. We wanted to bring children back to the subject so we clubbed everything that interests children and made a platform,” he said.

The top three schools based on the performance of their students in the contest were given netbooks pre-loaded with HeyMath! resources. The schools are — Vaishnavi Vidyalayam, Chittoor, St. Joseph’s English School, Kurnool and Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Chennai. The school with maximum participation was Shri Prakash Vidya Niketan from Vishakapatnam.

Students who came in sixth, seventh, eight, ninth and tenth were Siddharth Sridhar of Chettinad Hari Shree Vidyalayam, Venonshya Sunder of Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Jai Murhekar of Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Kishore S. Shenoy of Bhavans Varuna Vidyalaya amd Mayank Baranwal of Sri Kumaran Public School.