The Math Olympian

In March 2010, I moved to Tokyo to follow my wife Karen, after she landed an amazing job teaching English at a top-notch Japanese university. As an unemployed house-husband living in a new country, I wondered how I could best apply my passion and experience to contribute to society.

Having a love for expressing myself through writing (my passion), as well as possessing twenty years of experience doing/creating math contests (my experience), I was inspired to write a fictional novel about an insecure teenager who commits herself to pursuing the crazy and unrealistic goal of representing her country at the International Mathematical Olympiad, and through that decision, discovers meaning, purpose, and joy.

In February 2015, I published The Math Olympian with FriesenPress.

While the cheapest way to purchase the book is through the link above, it is also available through Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play.

Mathematics has changed my life - it has brought me opportunities and privileges beyond my wildest dreams, and through my journey of studying this subject, I have found a deep clarity of purpose, discovering the arena in which I can serve society and live life to the full.

It is this journey that I hope to share in my novel, with the hope of inspiring tens of thousands of young people with the message that with inspired teaching and mentorship, anyone can succeed in mathematics and develop the confidence, creativity, and critical-thinking skills so essential in life.

Excerpts from The Math Olympian

The front and back cover.

The first 27 pages.

Q&A with the Author.


Advance Praise for The Math Olympian

"Lots of fun to read, this is a book for everyone following a dream. Bethany is a small-town girl with big dreams. The reader has the privilege of experiencing her fascination with mathematics, her insecurities, and her ambitions."
-- Sara Faridi, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada

"Your book introduced me to the elegance of mathematics, the thrill of discovering patterns and writing solutions, and experiencing moments of absolute brilliance. I thank you for that."
-- Tathagat Bhatia, Grade 10 student, Lucknow, India

Additional Scenes

Two remarkable students at Quest University Canada, Sophia Matthew and Deanna Kronenberg, worked with me every week for nine months, as they went through my manuscript line by line, showing me how to make the story more compelling, and being the best editors any first-time writer could ask for.

In addition to their editing contributions, these two students wrote their own original "additional scenes", with Sophia writing a dialogue on Counting Rectangles (with several applications to Pascal's Triangle) and Deanna writing a problem-solving session on Mathematical Symmetry (with illustrations of rotational, reflective, and algebraic symmetry). Under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, these materials are freely available for use, especially by teachers.

Sophia's scene: Counting Rectangles

Deanna's scene: Mathematical Symmetry