UGM student, once again, accomplished a prideful, international achievement. One of its students, Albert Gunawan, successfully carved his name as the first person from Indonesia who won the gold medal in the International Mathematics Competition for University Student (IMC) event in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, from July 24 to 30. To the competition followed by 329 participants from over 30 countries, Indonesia has sent seven participants: two participants from UGM and the rest from UI, ITS, ITB, University of Airlangga, and STT Telkom. It is quite prideful to UGM; the two of UGM students won the gold and silver medals. The student winning the silver medal is Made Tantrawan, who is from the same department as Albert Gunawan, Mathematics Department.
In the IMC event this time, actually it was the fourth time for Albert to participate in this annual competition. Obviously, the achievement this time is his best, because previously, Albert was only awarded a bronze medal. For Albert, the questions being tested, including analysis, algebra, combinatorics and biometrics, are very familiar. He was also able to solve the questions well. "In the beginning I had some trouble, but when I found the solution, I was satisfied," said the man born in Temanggung 22 years ago.
The slim man that usually wears minus glasses is known for his quiet nature. His speaks softly, forcing the journalists to ask him to repeat the answers. However, the younger of two brothers and the son of entrepeneurs Agus Purwanto and Lanny Chandrawati, said that he was surprised to win the gold medal, because the gold medal every year is always achieved by participants from Russia, America, Iran and Ukraine. "I was quite happy to be the champion," said Albert who claimed to spend two and a half hours a day to prepare for this event.
For Albert, participating in mathematics competitions is not his first experience. He had done it since highschool. He often wins the events, whether locally, nationally or internationally. Even while studying in SMA Negeri 1 Temanggung, Albert was one of the members of International Mathematics Olympiad team (IMO) 2006 in Slovenia. But unfortunately, he could join the event because he could not obtain a visa.
Beyond that, an array of accomplishments have been achieved by Albert. He was a math contest winner at UNDIP in 2006 and winner in Unnes Mathematics Competition in 2005. He also won a bronze medal in 2006 in Asian Pacific Mathematic Olympiad.
In the meantime, for Made Tantrawan who is just at his second semester, it was his first participation in this competition. He was grateful to win the silver medal. The man who graduated from SMAN 3 Bali said that since highschool, he had idolized Albert who was known to have many achievements. He had just met Albert at UGM Mathematics Department, Faculty of Maths and Natural Sciences. Albert also had many experiences with him. "Albert motivates me a lot," he said.
Reflecting on the path taken by Albert and Made to the IMC 2010, it was a long and difficult process. They had to participate in the selection at the university level. At the national level, they set aside 25 other people who had made it through the selection. Their hard work resulted in some success. But now there are many offers given to Albert. He received numerous scholarship offers from foreign universities to continue his master's studies. One was from the Leiden University, Netherlands. Although he already accepted the offer, Albert remained eager to work in Indonesia in the future. "Yes, I prefer to work here," he said proudly.