Dario Trinchero

Best Cambridge maths student in the world

“Of course I wasn’t expecting it! I was expecting to have done well, but I had not imagined something even close to this scale. This achievement means a lot to me,” says Dario Trinchero (18).

And it should. Late last year, Trinchero — a matric pupil at Somerset College in Cape Town — was placed first in the world for mathematics in the International Cambridge AS Examination, obtaining 100%. He was also placed first in chemistry in South Africa.

Trinchero has always achieved above-average marks in his subjects, but he feels his ability developed fully after grade 10, when he was able to engage with advanced maths in the advanced program Maths syllabus. “It was then that I fully realised my potential, and began to work much more actively to develop it,” he says.

Trinchero excels in other subjects too. Last year he achieved over 90% in five of his six subjects, falling short only in English. For Trinchero, mathematics is not only about doing sums. Doing so is akin to “viewing soccer as nothing more than dribbling a ball,” he says. Because he loves maths so much, he thinks about the subject a lot throughout the day. “This is the real reason that I feel I am able to make the most effective use of the resources I am given.”

After school, Trinchero aims to study theoretical physics, probably in conjunction with computer science. In the long run, he hopes to work on physics research in his chosen specialisation. “Not only does it (the Cambridge first position) motivate me even more to continue working hard at my mathematics, but it also excites me with all the potential prospects that may come about as a result of my ability. I am eager to excel further and to continue to open new doors to exciting opportunities in my future.” — Fatima Asmal