2011 USAMO Winners Honored in Washington
|June 14 , 2011|
The 40th U.S.A. Mathematical Olympiad Awards Ceremony, honoring the twelve winners of the prestigious, high-school mathematics competition, took place on June 6 at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.
“They are indeed exceptional,” said MAA President Paul Zorn during the ceremony. “As a statistician might put it, they are outliers, all of them.”
The 12 winners are (in alphabetical order):
John P. Holdren, Assistant to President Obama for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, attended the ceremony and read a congratulatory message from President Obama during the dinner.
Earlier in the evening, MAA President Paul Zorn and American Mathematics Competition Director Steven Dunbar, presented the winners with the USAMO Medal, named in honor of Gerhard C. Arenstorff, a two-time winner of the USAMO and a member of the first U.S. team in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).
Award-winning mathematics writer Barry Cipra presented the annual USAMO Address on “SeVenn, EleVenn, and Beyond.”
After dinner, the twelve winners also received the Robert P. Balles Distinguished Mathematics Student Award to recognize and reward their high achievement in the world of mathematics competitions. Balles is a former community college instructor of mathematics and retired businessman who established the prize in 2005.
Evan O’Dorney and David Yang tied for the top score in this year’s Olympiad and both received the Samuel L. Greitzer/Murray S. Klamkin Award for Mathematical Excellence.
Tom Ruff, Vice President of Akamai Technologies, presented O’Dorney and Yang with First Place Akamai Foundation Scholarship Awards. Xiaoyu He, Wenyu Cao, and Mitchell Lee received Second Place Akamai Foundation Scholarship Awards.
The Wendy Ravech-Akamai Mathematics Scholar Award, presented for the first time, went to Shijie (Joy) Zheng.
On the day after the Awards Ceremony, the students traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, to participate, along with about 50 other students, in the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MOSP). Funded in part by the Akamai Foundation, MOSP provides the students with in-depth training in mathematical problem solving. MOSP participants are tested during the program and the top six scorers, plus one alternate, are selected to represent the United States at the 52nd International Mathematical Olympiad.
The 52nd International Mathematical Olympiad will take place July 16-24 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The MAA is grateful to the following organizations for their generous support of the USAMO and the AMC program: Akamai Foundation, American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, American Mathematical Society, American Statistical Association, Art of Problem Solving, Awesome Math, Casualty Actuarial Society, Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences, D.E. Shaw & Co., Jane Street Capital, Math for America, Mu Alpha Theta, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Academy of Applied Science, IDEA Math, and Pi Mu Epsilon.
The USAMO is the pinnacle event in the sequence of increasingly challenging mathematical contests administered by the MAA's American Mathematics Competitions program. It serves to indicate the talent of those who may become leaders in the mathematical sciences of the next generation. 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, the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME), and just 329 of these participants made it to the highly selective and prestigious USAMO.
In 2010, the AMC announced a new contest for young students to bridge the computational solution process of AIME and the proof orientation of the USAMO. This year, 225 participated in the USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad. The results are listed here (pdf).
The mission of the MAA's American Mathematics Competitions is to increase interest in mathematics and to develop problem solving through a fun competition. Teachers and schools benefit from the chance to challenge students with interesting mathematical questions that are aligned with curriculum standards at all levels of difficulty. In addition, students gain the opportunity to learn and achieve through competition with students in their school and around the world.