Youngsters show the way

  • 2007-08-07
  • By Mike Collier

SIMPLY DOES IT: The Rigas Svetki festival logo is the work of a six-year-old

VILNIUS/RIGA - Young people in the Baltic States are proving that they have little to learn from their elders.

Lithuanian student Kestutis Cesnavicius from Kaunas scored a notable vistory for his country by scooping a gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad held in Hanoi, Vietnam. That led to a meeting with President Valdas Adamkus Aug 6 at which Adamkus passed on his congratulations.

The Kauno Diena daily reported that during the meeting, Cesnavicius told the president he would continue his math studies at Bremen University in Germany. Cesnavicius mentioned he would be glad to return to Lithuania but only if it can offer him good possibilities to work in the field of mathematics.

Unfortunately, most graduates from the Kaunas University of Technology do not see their futures at Lithuanian universities. In the words of Bronislovas Burgys, Director of the KUT institute, some 15 out of 70 fellow students of Cesnavicius have also entered foreign universities.

The International Mathematical Olympiad was established in 1959 for young mathematicians under the age of 20 and has become a keenly-contested annual event involving students from dozens of countries taking tests in geometry, number theory, algebra and combinatorics. Lithuanian students have competed on 16 occasions but Cesnavicius is the first to win a gold medal.

Meanwhile in Riga an even younger high-achiever was recognised. At an Aug 6 press conference, Riga Mayor Janis Birks revealed the winner of a competition to design a logo for this year's Rigas Svetki festival is six-year-old Anna Emilija Stage.

Her multicolored flower logo 's which certainly had a better reception than the logo for the London 2012 Olympics 's will be seen throughout the city in the run-up to the city's celebration festival running Aug 17-19. Instead of pocketing six-figure consultancy fee, Anna received a small brooch of a sparrow.