Maths Whizz - Top in NZ

By John Lewis (ODT) | Posted: Monday October 23, 2017

Paxton Hall scored the top mark in NZ in the ICAS Maths exam.

For many, mathematics is just numbers. But 13-year-old Paxton Hall says mathematics is a set of keys which have opened many doors to success for him.

"I really like maths because it ties into everything. If you’re good at maths, you can be good at so many other things.

"You can be good at music, you can be good at science. Maths is the gateway to a lot of other subjects."

The Logan Park High School pupil just won the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) year 9 mathematics medal for gaining the top examination mark in New Zealand.

Not surprisingly, this is not his first academic success in any subject, let alone maths.

He was also a top prize winner in the Australian Maths Competition and a member of the winning year 9 team at the Otago O’Mathlon competition earlier this year.

He has also won a special prize in the Australian Computational and Algorithmic Thinking Competition, and placed in the top 200 competitors of the Otago University Junior Maths Competition (competing against older pupils).

Despite still being in year 9, he is sitting NCEA level 1 maths and gaining excellence endorsements — something usually achieved by top year 11 pupils.

Paxton believed his love of maths had helped him become one of the school's top young chess players and a top English pupil, having won an award in the school’s year 9 Extreme Reading Challenge and an award in the ODT Extra! poetry-writing competition.

Co-principal Kristan Mouat said Paxton was awarded an academic scholarship for being one of Logan Park High School’s top all-round academic pupils.

"So he’s a pretty talented and really humble student.’’ What does the future hold for Paxton?

"I am only 13. I don’t really know at this stage, but probably something to do with maths."

Paxton will receive his ICAS maths medal at an official ceremony in Wellington later this year.