# Agreement to support mathematics initiatives in Norway and Africa

Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters have signed a cooperation agreement regarding support for measures to increase interest in mathematics in general and to improve competence in mathematics both in Norway and in developing countries. The agreement has an annual budget of NOK 3 million over a period of 5 years, starting in 2012.

The agreement is twofold. The national section consists of contributions to the Niels Henrik Abel's mathematics competition, Abel Scholarships and the educational website matematikk.org. Internationally, the intention is to support the development and teaching of mathematics in developing countries. There are concrete plans to support the establishment of a regional "Center of Excellence in Mathematics" in Africa.

The agreement was signed by CEO Jon Erik Reinhardsen in PGS and Øivind Andersen General Secretary of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

**Partnership for Mathematics**- For PGS, it is important to stimulate interest in mathematics and to improve competence in mathematics both in Norway and in developing countries. As one of the leading players in seismic and geophysics, we see every day that skilled employees are crucial to our success. We want to be a partner for the important work of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the Niels Henrik Abel Memorial Fund is doing in this regard, and will provide both financial support and our expertise, said Jon Erik Reinhardsen.

Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) offers a wide range of seismic and electromagnetic services, including data collection and processing, reservoir analysis and interpretation, as well as multi-client library data. PGS helps oil companies to find oil and gas reserves offshore worldwide.

- We are delighted that PGS would like to support activities that stimulate mathematical interest among young people in Norway. This is in line with the intentions behind the creation of the Abel Prize. The support of PGS gives us a fantastic opportunity to increase our support to youth, says Helge Holden, professor of mathematics and chairman of the Abel Fund.

**Norwegian measures**The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has awarded the Abel Prize since 2003. Measures aimed at children and young people are enshrined in the statutes for the prize. Three measures, which now also receive funding from PGS, have been central since the Abel Prize was established.

- Niels Henrik Abel's mathematics competition is open to all students in secondary school in Norway. The competition runs over several rounds, with close to 4,000 participants in the first round. The top 20 go to the finals, which are held at the Norwegian Technical University. The winners from here participate in the International Mathematics Olympics (IMO), and also to the Nordic Mathematical Contest.

The Abel Scholarship goes to students who are studying for a Masters degree in Mathematical Sciences at a Norwegian institution. The purpose is to encourage promising students to further study and research in the mathematical sciences. Norwegian Mathematical Society makes the award based on agreement with the board of the Abel Fund.

Matematikk.org is a Norwegian educational website for math. The site is designed for students in primary and secondary schools, teachers and parents.

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Photo: Jim Brook

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