The beginning of the Asia Inter-Cities Teenagers Mathematics Olympiad (AITMO) is a story of triumph of the human will toward the realization of a noble vision.
It was back in 2003 that the educational leaders in the field of mathematics from China, Philippine, Taiwan and Hong Kong joined forces to launch an international mathematics contest which would provide an opportunity for the mathematical interaction and promote friendship among Asian youths while developing their mathematical competence and competitiveness.
Unfortunately that same year, most of Eastern Asia was afflicted by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which easily disrupted most international mathematics contests, some were postponed, and others were even cancelled. The risk of the students’ efforts going in vain was great. This prompted Dr. Simon L. Chua, president of Mathematics Trainers’ Guild, Philippines, to propose that a new venue be considered just to make sure that the contest would still push through. His proposal earned overwhelming support from the board chairman of Taiwan’s Chiu Chang Mathematics Education, Foundation, Mr. Sun Wen-hsien, and the principal of the Hong-Kong Math Olympiad School, Madam Pinky Leung. Finally the move was cemented as former vice-chairman of the Chinese Society Popularization Working Committee Mr. Qiu Zonghu, and the principal of Fuzhou No.1 Middle School, Mr. Li Xun, also expressed their support. Thus, the 2003 Asia Inter-Cities Teenagers Mathematics Olympiad was held in August 2003 at the West Lake Hotel, Fuzhou, China.
After the success of the math contest, its founding countries and regions sat together for a roundtable meeting. They decided to make the math contest a biennial event. The four founding sides must take turns and invite other countries and cities to be part of the said contest.
In 2005, the Philippines hosted the AITMO 2005 simultaneously with the Philippine Elementary Mathematics International Contest at Tagbilaran City, Province of Bohol. In 2007, AITMO was finally held in Hong Kong.