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This paper identifies educational implications that arise from materials collected by James Campbell and his colleagues on the winners of the Mathematics Olympiads. This paper addresses two questions: (1) how can we ensure support for recognized mathematical talent through schooling to professional life, and (2) how can we increase the pool of gifted students who participate in the Olympiads and other excellent competitions and programs? The response to the first question is presented by exploring the following dimensions of talent development: age at which mathematical talent is manifested, role of parents in nurturing children's abilities, curriculum and ambiance of the secondary schools, opportunities for competition and challenge afforded by the Olympiad, underrepresentation of females on the teams, and post-secondary experience of America's most talented students in mathematics and science. The second component of the paper addresses how and why schools should expand the number of students who participate in mathematics and science competitions, including a rationale for the role of talent development in schools; the requisites for talent development, including whether broad or narrow curriculum for secondary students should be pursued; and how we can "plug the leaky pipeline" leading to mathematics-based careers. Contains 59 references. (MKR)

Descriptors: Academically Gifted, Competition, Females, Mathematics Curriculum, Parent Role, Secondary Education

Autor: Subotnik, Rena F.; And Others


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