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Maths Olympiad questions leaked on Internet before exam

Last updated: 07 December, 2010
Kolkata, Dec 6 (PTI) 7:53 IST

Questions of the prestigious Regional Mathematical Olympiad (RMO) 2010, held across the country, appeared to have been leaked on the Internet as they were available well in advance of the actual exam date.

A person with the username 'Jemima' posted all the six questions in the Forum section of USA-based website 'www.artofproblemsolving.com' and unsuspecting members of the site in turn posted the answers.

For example, question no 3 of the RMO question paper read: "Find the number of 4-digit numbers (in base 10) having non-zero digits and which are divisible by 4 but not by 8." The website link of the question read: "Find the number of 4 digited numbers in base 10 having non zero digits which are divisible by 4 but not by 8." (sic)

Both the questions were very similar in language, thereby hinting at a possible leak.
While five questions were posted on Friday between 2:35 am and 4:15 am (local time), another question was posted on Saturday at 6:31 am (local time). The examination was held on Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm (IST).

Question no 5 was posted at 4.03 am on Friday and in one of the replies to it, a member of the USA-based website 'Layman conjecture' wrote on Sunday, "Jemima, these are the problems of the RMO 2010. If we find out who you are and which state you are from, you will be automatically disqualified."

Later, members 'SOURABH' and 'tulsidas' in their posts requested the website authorities to ban 'Jemima' saying "he has committed a grave offence and must be punished rigorosly."
The Regional Mathematical Olympiad is meant primarily for students of Class IX-XII. Those who clear it are selected for the next step, the Indian National Mathematical Olympiad, scheduled to be held in February, 2011.

The website 'www.artofproblemsolving.com' based in California, USA, offers mathematical training to high school students.

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