China's Tsinghua and Peking universities have both announced they will select top students from senior high schools for their new elite math classes.
Peking University said on Tuesday that it will select 30 senior grade two students this year. Tsinghua University said on the same day it would recruit 15 students from both senior grade two and senior grade three students.
The two schools said their selections would take into consideration the students' natural talent in math, comprehensive learning ability, and psychological tests.
In addition to the schools' independent enrollment tests, the candidates must sit the national college entrance exam and their scores should exceed the enrollment level for China's first-class universities.
Sun Zhaojun, deputy Party chief of the Mathematic Science Institute of Peking University, said most world-renown mathematicians achieved their major achievements at the ages between 18 and 40. Those who received the Fields Medal, an international medal for outstanding discoveries in mathematics, were all aged under 40.
Peking University hopes the elite math class can foster a group of Chinese mathematicians who will make international achievements. The development of the subject is the foundation of many math-related applications.
"Skilled math students show their talent and passion at an early age. Tsinghua's elite class will invite international mathematicians to teach, so as to encourage the young students' full potential," said Zou Wenming, dean of the Mathematics Department of Tsinghua.