Top Mathematician

By John Lewis (ODT) | Posted: Monday October 19, 2020

Congratulations to Aubrey Alsop Mackie for achieving the top mark in New Zealand in the recent ICAS Maths competition.

See the Otago Daily Times article below:

Logan Park High School pupil Aubrey Alsop Mackie has achieved the top mark in New Zealand for the recent International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) year 9 mathematics examination. Top marks for this surprise. Morning, Mum! Yes, this is your son, Aubrey Alsop Mackie, in the paper and online.

"Surprise! I got the top mark in New Zealand for the ICAS year 9 maths exam."

The 13-year-old Logan Park High School pupil was stunned late yesterday afternoon when he was told he had gained the top mark in the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools examination.

When he was asked if he was going to tell his mother about the achievement first, he said: "I don’t know. Probably not. She’ll find out about it in tomorrow’s paper."

He is a lad of few words, and of course, he wanted his mother, Toni Alsop, to be just as surprised and excited about it as he was.

Aubrey was one of hundreds of New Zealand and Australian pupils who sat the exam.

He said he knew he had done well enough to gain a high distinction, but he had not entertained the idea of gaining the top mark.

"I was pretty surprised. I didn’t really expect that."

Despite being a year 9 pupil, he is studying maths at year 11 level, and is busy studying for his NCEA level 1 mathematics and statistics exam.

"I just enjoy doing it. I like algebra, especially. I like that there’s always a right and a wrong answer.

"It’s also quite satisfying to get a difficult problem right."

He said the ICAS result had given him confidence as he prepared for the NCEA maths exam next month.

While he is unlike most year 9 pupils in the maths department, he is similar in that he, too, has no idea what he wants to do when he finishes his studies.

"I actually don’t know yet. It would probably be something to do with maths."

After all, he had only just started secondary school and had another four years to make that decision, he said.