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Nigeria’s Faith Odunsi, aged 16: The world’s maths genius

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MEET Nigerian teen, Faith Odunsi, proud winner of the 2021 Global Open Mathematics which she aced with an outstanding margin of 40 points.

The 16-year-old made global news headlines in March 2021 when she beat students from the US, UK, China, and other countries to win global math competition.

“My heart raced”

Although she beat other contestants from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the United States, Odunsi didn’t immediately think that she was going to be the winner until she answered more questions that the other contestants in the final round of the competition.

Odunsi said in an interview with Punch that, “My heart raced but I felt relieved.” As the competition winner, Odunsi walked away with a US$1,000 prize.

The teen has finished her high school studies at the Ambassadors School, Ota Ogun State. Odunsi’s father is a doctor and her mother is an accomplished businesswoman. And of course, both of her parents are extremely proud of her win.

The budding mathematician states that she gets her math genes from her father.

Here are our top three winners in the Senior Category of the Global Open Mathematics Tournament.

She solved 19 mathematics questions in 60 seconds, becoming the best candidate in the 2021 mathematics competition.

Dream is to study outside Nigeria

“It makes me happy and honoured,” Faith says of her acclaim.

Odunsi’s desire is to pursue studies in Computer Engineering, but specifically outside of Nigeria.

“I would like to study outside Nigeria because the facilities are better abroad and the experience is better. I don’t think I will be limited in Nigeria; I just think the opportunities will be better abroad.”

Odunsi is not a one-hit wonder.

Odunsi might be a young teen girl but she is not a one-hit wonder. She already has a track record of achieving success in mathematics challenges.

In 2018, Odunsi received a Record Holder Award for the highest number of questions answered on Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz Show which is a Nigerian national mathematics television quiz show.

Odunsi might be a young teen girl but she is not a one-hit wonder

Faith has also participated in several other competitions including the national Olympiad which she has been doing since she was in JSS2 and was made the Queen of Mathematics from JSS3 to SS2.

She has also taken part in the South African Mathematics Olympiad where she received medals.

After that, she also participated in the Kangourou Sans Frontieres, American Mathematics Competition and Pan-African mathematics Olympiad where she also received a silver medal.

Her feat at the Global Open Mathematics Competition sparked commendations from across the continent and prompted the Governor of Ogun State Dapo Abiodun to honour the 15-year-old Faith.


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