Maths student Victor Wang has been named the best student orator at the ANU for explaining a link between maths and daily life.
Victor won the 20th annual Lions Oratory Competition, beating six other finalists to win the title and the $2,000 first prize.
He was the last speaker, and used his eight minutes to explain the links between real life and the Gödel's incompleteness theorems.
“I wanted the audience to make the connection between the foundations of mathematics, logic and this idea of consistency of non-contradiction in formal systems and tying it back to the contradictions we as people experience every day,” Victor said.
“Going last meant I’d seen everyone else’s speeches and they all spoke really well so I was nervous.
“The night was a blur and I was really surprised when I won.”
The 19-year old ANU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences student said he plans to donate his prize money to the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF).
“In Australia we don’t have to worry about Malaria, but it impacts thousands of people around the world. I believe in effective altruism and AFM has consistently ranked the most effective charity in the world,” he said.
Victor encouraged other students to sign up for next year’s competition.
“It’s really fun but you’re learning an important life skill, public speaking,” he said.
The Lions Oratory Competition is held on campus each year, and aims to help students build their public speaking skills.