For years to come, some of the world’s top math whizzes may be indebted to Google. The search giant announced today that it’s donating €1 million (or about $1.35 million) to the International Mathematical Olympiad, which should help fund global events through 2015.
A little background information: the IMO is considered the world championship of mathematics for people under 20, allowing contestants from many different countries to take a trip (the location changes every year) and compete for prizes.
Host nations have to cover the costs, however, which could at times be problematic. So Google stepped in.
Robbert Dijkgraaf, President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Chair of the IMO 2011 Foundation, stated as a result, "This generous gift of Google will allow the brightest young mathematicians to show their amazing abilities to the world. The scientific community is grateful for this wonderful support of Google and the recognition it expresses of the fundamental importance of mathematics to our society."
Meanwhile, Simon Hampton, Director of Public Policy at Google, wrote in a blog post, "We’re delighted that we can help the IMO bring young mathematicians from around the world together to celebrate a shared passion, to push themselves and to compete to be the best in the world."
Don’t be surprised if a few job interviews result from all this, further sweetening the pot for participants.