Sarah Jane Cua, a second year student at the Pangasinan Universal Institute bested math wizards from the Asia- Pacific region to win the top prize at the Sudoku Challenge 2008 Asia Pacific Open in Singapore.
A 14-year-old coed from Dagupan City also won a cash prize of S$10,000, that’s about Php 330,000.
She was the second youngest participant in the contest participated in by a total of 50 students and young professionals from Thailand, China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Sudoku is a logic puzzle where the objective is to fill in a 9 X 9 grid so that every row, column and every 3 X 3 box (also called blocks or regions) contains the digits 1 to 9.
Cua’s victory was hailed by the Mathematics Trainers’ Guild-Philippines as proof that Filipino students can excel in mathematics given the proper training.
“Again, we have proven that Filipino students are bright and can compete in international competitions such as the Sudoku Challenge. We are very happy with the results,” said Dr. Simon Chua, MTG president and the first Filipino to receive the International Paul Erdos Award for mathematics.
Cua is one of several Filipino students trained and assisted by MTG to participate in the international Sudoku contest.
The MTG-Philippines is an organization of math experts and teachers in the country that trains and sends Filipino students to different mathematics competitions abroad including the United States.