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Too easy

Never say "easy to a math person. Let computers do the simple things. What was wrong with the latest Math Olympics? The problems weren't tough enough. Or so said students from various countries in Washington for the first International Mathematical Olympiad to be held in the Wester Hemisphere since the event began more than two decades ago.

There is something refreshing in all this at a time when intellectual exercise does not seem to have caught on quite as widely as jogging. Imagine people who want to think harder than they're asked! It's another chip in the notion that excellence and effort have gone out of style among the young. It certainly means no less than the national results (United States first, West Germany second, Britain third) in what is supposed to be an individual competiton. After all, individuals don't have to enter an Olympiad to want their capacities teste d to the full.

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