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High-School Students Honored

1 August 2009 2,840 views No Comment

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12 win USA Mathematical Olympiad

The 12 winners of the USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) were honored June 8, 2009, during an awards ceremony at the U.S. State Department building in Washington, DC.

The olympiad is part of a worldwide system of national mathematics competitions. It is a six-question, two-day, nine-hour essay/proof examination. This year, 525 high-school students qualified.

During the morning ceremony, ASA President-elect Sastry Pantula congratulated the students and told them about the American Statistical Association and the key roles statisticians play in advancing science and innovation. As a gift, each winner received a one-year membership to the ASA.

To start the awards ceremony, Mathematical Association of America (MAA) President David Bressoud introduced each of the students and presented them with their USAMO medals.

With enthusiasm, Art Benjamin from Harvey Mudd College delivered the invited address, “Combinatorial Trigonometry.” Though the topic was complicated, Benjamin captured the students’ and parents’ attention.

After the ceremony, the 12 USAMO winners received a $500 U.S. savings bond for winning the Robert P. Balles USA Mathematical Olympiad Prize. Wenyu Cao was awarded the Samuel L. Greitzer/Murray S. Klamkin Award for Mathematical Excellence for his first-place finish, as well as a $20,000 scholarship from the Akamai Foundation.

Toan Phan was awarded the second-place Akamai scholarship of $15,000, and Qinxuan Pan received the third-place scholarship of $10,000.

math olympiad

38th USA Mathematical Olympiad winners at the U.S. State Department (starting fourth from left): Eric Larson, South Eugene High School, Eugene, Oregon; Qinxuan Pan, Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School, Rockville, Maryland; Delong Meng, Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Sergei Bernstein, Belmont High School, Belmont, Massachusetts; Toan Phan, Taft School, Watertown, Connecticut; John Berman, John T. Hoggard High School, Wilmington, North Carolina; David Rush, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire; Robin Cheng, Pinetree Secondary School, Coquitlam, British Columbia; David Yang, Homeschool, Walnut, California; Vlad Firoiu, Westford Academy, Westford, Massachusetts; and Wenyu Cao, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. (Not pictured: Panupong Pasupat, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Massachusetts.) Flanking the winners are (from left) ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein, Past ASA President Tony Lachenbruch, ASA Board Member Jeri Mulrow, ASA Vice President Nathaniel Schenker, ASA 2010 President-elect Nancy Geller, and ASA 2009 President-elect Sastry Pantula.

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