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Qualifiers for the 2011 USA Mathematical Olympiad and the USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad have just been announced and once again participants in the Metroplex Math Circle were well represented.

USAMO Qualifiers from Texas:

  • Steven Chen, Westwood HS, Austin
  • Alexandra Ilic, Westlake HS, Austin
  • George Qi, Westwood HS, Austin
  • Kevin Tian, Westwood HS, Austin
  • Kevin Li, A&M Consolidated HS, College Station
  • Brian Ferguson, Ferguson Homeschool, Dallas
  • Taeyeon Ham, Highland Park HS, Dallas
  • Adam Su, Texas Academy Math & Science, Denton
  • Michael Ma, Wyatt Elementary, Plano
  • Bobby Shen, Dulles HS, Sugar Land
  • Lawrence Wu, Stephen F Austin HS, Sugar Land

USAJMO Qualifiers from Texas:

  • Patrick Guo, Westwood HS, Austin
  • Kensen Shi, A&M Consolidated HS, College Station
  • Niranjan Balachandar, Frankford MS, Dallas
  • Victor Zhou, St Mark’s School of Texas, Dallas
  • Erik Nguyen, Robert L Paschal HS, Fort Worth
  • Dominic Yurk, Robert L Paschal HS, Fort Worth
  • Paul Cruz, Harmony School of Advancement, Houston
  • Andrew Jin, Harmony School of Advancement, Houston
  • Patrick Pan, Home School, Houston
  • Brian Xu, The Village HS, Houston
  • Siddharth Seethepalli, Seven Lakes HS, Katy
  • Kevin Chang, Jasper HS, Plano
  • David Hao, Jasper HS, Plano
  • Daniel Suh, Jasper HS, Plano
  • Robert Tung, Jasper HS, Plano
  • Angeline Rao, First Colony MS, Sugar Land
  • Alexander Yang, First Colony MS, Sugar Land
  • Eric Yu, The Woodlands College Park HS, The Woodlands

 

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The AMC just posted biographies for the top performers in the recent USAMO contest:

USA Mathematical Olympiad: 2010 USAMO Winners

May 19, 2010

This year, 329 outstanding high school students qualified for the 2010 USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO). On April 27-28, these students tackled a challenging, six-question exam, distributed via the Internet to their schools. The 12 winners are (in alphabetical order):

Timothy Chu (Lynbrook High School, San Jose, California): Timothy Chu is a senior at Lynbrook High School. Next year he will be going to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a semifinalist for two years in the Physics Olympiad and a semifinalist for one year in the USA Biology Olympiad. He plays French Horn as second chair in his school’s state-renowned Wind Ensemble and is about to become an Eagle Scout.  He also played tennis for Lynbrook for two years. He enjoys playing Frisbee and climbing trees. He would like to give special thanks to Rita Korsunsky, school Math Club advisor, for all the hard work she does for the Math Club, and his mom for pushing him into MathCounts. He would also like to thank Jon Schneider, prior International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) team member from Canada and friend.

Calvin Deng (William G. Enloe High School, Cary, North Carolina): Calvin is currently a freshman at William G. Enloe High School. This year he qualified for U.S. Physics Olympiad Semi-Final, and last year he was a National MathCounts Quarter Finalist. During his spare time, he likes to play sports and video games. Calvin would like to thank his dad who opened the door to math and science for him.

Michael Druggan (Tates Creek High School, Lexington, Kentucky): Michael was a national competitor at MathCounts in 2007 and achieved “Gold” level in the USA Math Talent Search competition, 2009-2010.  His hobbies include logic puzzles, especially slitherlinks and kenkens, and he has been competing in gymnastics for several years.  He would like to thank his mom for getting him interested in math early on and for always being supportive of him competing in math competitions.

Brian Hamrick (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Annandale, Virginia): Brian is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. He will be attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall. Outside of math, he enjoys computer science and was a member of the USA team for the International Olympiad in Informatics in 2008 and 2009, earning a silver and gold medal. He would like to thank the Thomas Jefferson Math Team, especially teacher Mrs. Gabriel and former co-captain Jacob Steinhardt for providing a great opportunity to learn contest math, as well as the great friends that he has met through the Olympiad programs who continue to make these experiences a lot of fun.

Travis Hance (Lakota West High School, West Chester, Ohio): Travis is graduating from Lakota West High School and will be attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology next fall. He has been competing in mathematics competitions since the ninth grade. Besides math, he also enjoys programming and computer science, and received a silver medal at the International Olympiad in Informatics last year. In his spare time he enjoys activities with friends such as Frisbee and playing board games.  He thanks his parents, Sandra and Darrell Hance, and his math teacher Mrs. Botzner for always encouraging his mathematical interests.

Xiaoyu He (Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Acton, Massachusetts): Xiaoyu is a sophomore at Acton-Boxborough Regional High. He enjoys math, computer programming and gaming, and, occasionally, art. When he is in the mood he will pull out a pencil and draw the first person he sees. He thanks his parents for introducing him to mathematics and for their continuing support.

Mitchell Lee (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Annandale, Virginia): Mitchell is a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Besides competitive mathematics, his other interests include computer programming (USA Computer Olympiad summer camp 2010), swimming, and playing with his baby brother.  He also fancies himself a StarCraft power player.  He would like to recognize his family for its support, The Art of Problem Solving for being a phenomenal resource, and Brian Hamrick for all his great lectures.

In Sung Na (Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, Old Tappan, New Jersey): In Sung is a junior at Northern Valley Regional High School. Apart from USAMO, he will be participating in the International Linguistics Olympiad this year along with fellow winner Allen Yuan. He enjoys running around, swimming, sleeping, and reading all kinds of books. He thanks his math teacher, Arpi Lajinian, for helping to organize his school’s math contests, the AAST math team and its coaches, Dr. Mayers, Dr. Abramson, and the late Mr. Joe Holbrook, for providing precious math opportunities, along with his friend Timothy Chu and former IMO team member Delong Meng for spreading their contagious love for math.

Evan O’Dorney: Evan is homeschooled through Venture School in California. He takes math classes at University of California, Berkeley.  Among his numerous honors are Scripps National Spelling Bee champion (2007), Bay Area Math Olympiad grand prize (2007, 2009, 2010), USAMO winner (2008), IMO silver medalist (2008, 2009), and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalist (2010). He enjoys improvising and composing piano music. Professor Zvezda Stankova, director of the Berkeley Math Circle, has played a vital role in his mathematical development introducing Evan to renowned mathematicians and offering invaluable mentorship.

Toan Duc Phan (Taft School, Watertown, Connecticut): Toan is currently a senior at The Taft School. He will be attending Harvard University next fall. In addition to winning USAMO this year, he was a USAMO winner last year, and a member of the US team at the 2009 Romanian Master in Mathematics. Toan also received an Honorable Mention in the 2009 Asian-Pacific Math Olympiad. When he is not doing math, he likes debating, playing sports, or simply socializing with friends.  His favorite sports are ping pong and soccer.

Hunter Spink (Western Canada High School, Calgary, Alberta, Canada): Hunter Spink is a junior at Western Canada High School. In addition to Provincial and National awards, Hunter won a silver medal at the 2009 International Mathematical Olympiad and will be part of the 2010 Canadian IMO team. His other interests include piano, skiing, computing, and girls. He credits reading books on mathematics and his discussions with Dr. Richard Guy at the University of Calgary as his sources of inspiration.

Allen Yuan (Detroit Country Day School, Farmington, Michigan): Allen is a junior at Detroit Country Day School. He was a USA team member in the 2009 Romanian Master in Mathematics and the 2009 U.S. Physics Team, and he will be going to the International Linguistics Olympiad this summer.  He is also interested in piano performance, in which he competes at local to international levels.  He thanks his parents and all the teachers, coaches, and students who motivated him to work harder on math throughout middle and high school.

An awards ceremony for the 12 USAMO winners will be held in Washington, D.C. at both the MAA Headquarters and the U.S. Department of State building on Monday, June 7.

The USAMO is the pinnacle event in the sequence of increasingly challenging mathematical contests administered by the MAA’s American Mathematics Competitions program. More than 220,000 worldwide took the first contest (AMC 10 and/or AMC 12). More than 10,000 were invited to compete in the second contest (AIME), and just 329 of these participants made it to the highly selective and prestigious USAMO.

For more information on the USAMO and MAA’s American Mathematics Competitions (AMC), click here. AMC announced a new contest this year, the USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad, for students in 10th grade and below. This year, 237 students qualified for the USAJMO. The top scorers are listed here.

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AMC 8 Results for Texas


The AMC has published state level summaries for the 2009 AMC 8.  Texas did very well with several perfect scores.

 

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Here is an interesting article from MIT on patterns in high math achievement based on a study of AMC data.  This research follows on the heels of the paper written by Dr. Andreescu and his colleagues last year.  The study seems to conclude that girls (and presumably also boys) thrive when they are able to study math in a community that reinforces their interests and encourages their talents.

Here are some key excerpts from the article:

Ellison and Swanson arrived at their findings by using a novel source of data: the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC), a 60-year-old annual contest involving 125,000 exceptional high-school students. A select group of students who do especially well on the AMC compete in a series of annual competitions, the U.S. Mathematical Olympiad and the International Mathematical Olympiad. This focus on standout students differs from most studies about math and gender in schools…

The numbers Ellison and Swanson scrutinized indicate that the gender disparity among star math students widens as performance levels increase. In 2007, about 800,000 girls took the math SAT, compared to about 700,000 boys. Yet at the 99th percentile of the math SATs, boys outnumber girls two to one. In their research, Ellison and Swanson divide that upper tier into even smaller segments, using AMC results. Among students in the 94th percentile of the AMC tests, they found, the top boys outnumbered the top girls four to one; at the 99th AMC percentile, six to one; and at the 99.9th AMC percentile, 12 to one…

Ellison thinks this huge gender disparity is linked to another fact: Among those students scoring so highly on the AMC and participating in the math Olympiads, the range of high schools represented is much greater for boys than for girls. “The top boys in the Olympiads come from all over the United States,” says Ellison. “Some of them are from big powerhouse schools, and some are from schools where they’re the only student who’s really good at math. But it’s these 20 high schools where the majority of the girls are coming from.” Those institutions range from Phillips Exeter Academy, an elite New England prep school, to a fistful of public high schools in Northern California, from Palo Alto to San Jose. By contrast, Ellison and Swanson note, half of the boys in the Olympiads come from about 200 high schools…

O’Keeffe, who has a daughter who competed in the math Olympiad, is inclined to agree. “Anecdotally, I do think the difference a community makes is enormous,” she says. “If you’re lucky enough to be at a school with a math club, you might be the only girl in it. At Exeter or Stuyvesant [a prominent Manhattan public high school], you might be in a minority, but you won’t be alone.” To be more rigorous, though, Ellison wants to track many individual students over time…

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