Interesting shift in regions of accomplishment over the last 30 years. This year, all top 10 performers on the International Math Olympiad were eastern asian or their heritage was from an east-asian country(aka recent immigrants)
In 86, that number was 2. 96 and 2006, the number was 5. Last year the number was 7.
So what changed to make this happen, and why is it important? This test (and its brother the putnam) is a very good predictor of who ends up the most prestigious and talented mathematician in the world. The Russian who solved the millenium problem was a previous top scorer, Feynman was a putnam fellow, Terrence Tao was the youngest gold medalist.
Its a global contest where people compete across the entire world to see just who has the talents needed for later in life. That not a single person not of eastern asian origin could crack the top 10 (and this is the first time that has happened) must mean something important, and it may give an important glimpse into the future.
And special note to singapore. 5.4 million people. In general has the most functional educational system with the lowest crime rate in the world. 3 out of the top 11 were from there.
In 15 years, these countries giving rise to these results will have fully developed and experienced statisticians, mathematicians, and engineers.
Tiger dad/mom parenting gives results, aye?