The Austrian Mathematical Olympiad

The Österreichische Mathematik Olympiade, mostly referred to by the acronym ÖMO, is the Austrian Mathematical Olympiad. It was founded when Austria was first invited to participate at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). Its primary goal is to select the Austrian team for the IMO and prepare them for this competition. To achieve this it consists of two levels: individual teachers holding preparation courses at schools and a two-week-long nationwide preparation course with subsequent competition for prospective IMO (and MEMO) candidates.

School and regional level

Mathematically talented high school students who want to take part in the ÖMO normally visit a preparation course at their school where they are thought the tools needed in mathematical competitions and practice to use them. Students start in a "beginner level" course in 8th or 9th grade (14-15 years old) and later move on to the "advanced level". At the end of March for advanced students and April for beginners there is a Kurswettbewerb, a competition inside the course to determine who can go to a regional competition. Students who could not go to a preparation course (especially in rural regions there are often none available) can participate in a special qualification competition.

For beginners there are nine Landeswettbewerbe, i.e. on competition for each province, which are usually held in June. There is no nationwide contest on this level. At the advanced level there are three regional competitions, called Gebietswettbewerbe (GWB), according to the following map:

The threee regions: Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland (=East) - Styria, Carinthia (=South) - Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol, Vorarlberg (=West)

The Bundeswettbewerb (BWB)

The best students from the each of the regional competitions (about 40 in total) attend a one-week preparation camp in Raach am Hochgebirge (Lower Austria) which is held in the second half of May. It features some more advance training and a lot of problem solving. After this week there is another competition the so called Zwischenwettbewerb (intermediate competition) or Bundeswettbewerb Teil 1 (federal competition, 1st part). For the better half of the contestants one more week of training follows which is closed by the final two-day Bundeswettbewerb. The six best students of this final competition will represent Austria at the IMO, the next six will form the MEMO team (if they are young enough).

International competitions

Austrian students participate in several international contests, most notable of course the IMO. Since 2007 Austria takes part in the MEMO (Mitteleuropäische Mathematik-Olympiade, Central European Mathematical Olympiad). Usually sometime during the preparation course in Raach the students try themselves at the Mediterranean Mathematical Competition. From 1978 to 2006 there was a special Austrian-Polish Mathematical Competition (APMC; Österreichisch-Polnischer Mathematikwettbewerb, ÖPMW) which besides the usual individual competition also featured a team competition. This is now continued by its spiritual successor the MEMO.

Other contests like the Mathematical Kangaroo or the Tournament of Towns are held outside of the ÖMO.