• Academic
  • Music
How did Millfield produce the top school-age mathematician?

Millfield student Yuhka Machino, just 17, proved herself to be the strongest school age mathematician in the UK by winning a gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad in September and she has recently been named as the best ever UK competitor in the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad after securing her third successive gold medal.    


Yuhka’s Achievements:

·       Highest placed female competitor in the world for the International                 Mathematical Olympiad 2020 

·       Three golds at the annual European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad 

·       Top musician working towards a performance diploma in piano 

·       Excels in languages and achieved silver in UK Linguistics Olympiad  

·       Aiming to publish in The Mathematical Gazette  

Yuhka joined Millfield Prep School age 10, ironically on a swimming scholarship, but she quickly found her passion for academics and music too. After 1 year as a day student, she became a boarder, and has been for 7 years. From a young age, Yuhka was encouraged to take part in junior olympiads and maths challenges to nurture her talent and she was on an accelerated maths programme to prepare her for scholarship application. Yuhka transitioned from Millfield Prep to the Senior school in 2016 on an academic, music and sport scholarship. During her A Levels, Yuhka has been working hard to publish her work on the method she performs to measure the surface area of a sphere in The Mathematical Gazette, an academic journal of mathematics education. Yuhka recently shared her experiences of maths olympiads with students in Japan to inspire participation in the future. Yuhka will continue her journey studying Mathematics at either the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Cambridge University.

Yuhka’s Mum (Noriko Machino) said: “It was a big challenge for Yuhka to move up to Millfield Senior School and have her secondary education in the UK, but I’m glad that we made that decision. The last five years have been a delightful period for me to watch Yuhka’s growth. If she had returned to a high school in Japan, she would have had less chances to play the piano and might have quit swimming a few years ago. We would like to thank the teachers and staff at Millfield who have always understood her and have supported her to bring out her potential on every occasion.”   

Yuhka quote: “Boarding at Millfield is great. My houseparents and friends are so supportive of me and my commitments, along with all my teachers who have continuously supported me to study for Olympiads whilst juggling sports and music commitments. I have been able to play regularly in the music recitals and take part in masterclasses. Last year I was the conductor for my house in our annual House Song competition, it was a great experience and I really enjoyed taking part. I am also one of the school’s together fund ambassadors, working to raise awareness of the 17 sustainable development goals set by the UN. I am thankful for the invaluable opportunities I have been given at Millfield to develop myself in many different ways. The school has helped me to grow my confidence, and I feel prepared and excited for my next step to further education.”

Hannah Telfer, UKMT Director quote: “Yuhka is consistently winning golds at the highest level which is a great testament to her ability and her support network.“ 

 How does Millfield stretch its mathematicians in the classroom and beyond? 

· Four separate schemes of work to meet the needs of a wide range of mathematicians 

· Lessons are not confined to exam specification material, students are encouraged to engage with a wide range of mathematics 

· Support and encouragement with Olympiad preparation  

· Regular participation in mathematical competitions (both team and individual) 

· Regular presentation evenings for students to share their own mathematical research with their peers 

· Regular visiting speakers including Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk and Dr Geoff Smith, President of the board of the IMO  

· Flexibility in programme and delivery for very able students to enable them to fulfil potential 

Dr Fiddes, Head of Mathematics at Millfield said “For Yuhka to win her third consecutive Gold at EGMO is an astounding achievement. Her intense curiosity and impressive dedication is an inspiration to all.  Teachers and students at Millfield are incredibly proud.” Dr Fiddes has been involved with the UK Mathematics Trust for 18 years, holding roles including Deputy Leader of the UK IMO team, presenter of the BMO1 solutions video and Director of the inaugural European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad in 2012.