A ten-year-old Kurdish girl from Iran’s Kurdistan Province recently came in as number one in a global competition held in Malaysia testing mental arithmetic performances of children up to the age of 14.
From the city of Baneh, Ronya Husseinzadeh has been training extensively with her tutors before to traveling on Dec. 22, 2018, to Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur, where she was to participate in challenging event to take home the title among 250 competitors from 23 countries.
The 18th “PAMA GLOBAL ABACUS & MENTAL ARITHMETIC COMPETITION” took place on Dec. 30, 2018, in the Malaysian capital. PAMA stands for Pan Pacific Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Association.
The Iranian team was comprised of 35 youths who were selected out of a pool of 323 students. Ranging from the ages of 5 to 14, Husseinzadeh was the sole candidate to represent Kurdistan Province.
Children handpicked for their mathematical abilities from Southeast Asian countries, Europe, North America, and other Asian countries participated in the event.
Iran had competitors for the five different age groups available in the tournament. Husseinzadeh partook in the Group B qualifiers and beat out the other 249, she told Kurdistan 24 on Sunday.
During the competition, there are multiple rounds where a tester shouts out multiple-digit numbers in sequence with different mathematical equations, such as additions, subtractions, and multiplications. Participants must perform the appropriate tasks and race to arrive at the correct answer first.
Through years of training with her tutors and teachers, Husseinzadeh has been working to perfect the visualization technique commonly employed by hobbyists or participants in competitions of “mental arithmetic.” The abacus can also be used in the tournament.
A demonstration of the calculation method can be seen below with Husseinzadeh herself being tested by her tutor.
The technique maximizes the efficiency of performing the equations through the use of hand gestures representing numbers and quickly manipulating the gestures to account for the different equations put forward by the tester.
Habib Husseinzadeh, the girl’s father, told Kurdistan 24 that they had worked hard to help their daughter strengthen her abilities and reach a competitive level.
“Ronya is a talented child who was very enthusiastic when she signed on [to our teaching] facility, and her parents were extremely helpful in developing her skills,” Kolsoum Ghaderi, a tutor of Husseinzadeh, said during an interview on Sunday.
Husseinzadeh was awarded the title of “Champion of Group B” and received a certificate for her performance.
Editing by Nadia Riva