You are here

2010 High School Mathematics Olympians Honored in Washington

The 39th U.S.A. Mathematical Olympiad Awards Ceremony, honoring the top twelve winners of the prestigious, high-school mathematics  competition, took place on June 7 at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office and Science Technology Policy, hosted the ceremony and celebratory dinner in the State Department’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms. Holdren lauded the students as the “cream of our young mathematical talent” and read a congratulatory message from President Obama.

The 2010 USAMO winners are (in alphabetical order): 

Timothy Chu, Lynbrook High School, San Jose, California.
Calvin Deng, William G. Enloe High School, Cary, North Carolina.
Michael Druggan, Tates Creek High School, Lexington, Kentucky.
Brian Hamrick, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Annandale, Virginia.
Travis Hance, Lakota West High School, West Chester, Ohio.
Xiaoyu He, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Acton, Massachusetts.
Mitchell Lee, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Annandale, Virginia.
In Sung Na, Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, Old Tappan, New Jersey.
Evan O’Dorney, Homeschooled through Venture School (Berkeley Math Circle), Danville, California.
Toan Duc Phan, Taft School, Watertown, Connecticut. (For family reasons, Toan Duc Phan  could not attend the event.)
Hunter Spink, Western Canada High School, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Allen Yuan, Detroit Country Day School, Farmington, Michigan.

At a formal ceremony in the Dean Acheson Auditorium, MAA President David M. Bressoud and Steven Dunbar, Director of the MAA’s American Mathematics Competitions program, awarded the students 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).

Vakil presenting "The Mathematics of Doodling"

Ravi Vakil of Stanford University presented the USAMO Address on the topic “The Mathematics of Doodling.” Vakil had been a USAMO winner three times and competed for Canada in the IMO, where he won one silver and two gold medals over three years.

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.

Allen Yuan received the Samuel L. Greitzer/Murray S. Klamkin Award for Mathematical Excellence for achieving the top score in the competition.

In the highlight of the evening, Tom Leighton, representing the Akamai Foundation, awarded Allen Yuan a $20,000 scholarship. Toan Duc Phan and Xiaoyu He shared second place, and each student received a $12,500 scholarship.

Akamai's Tom Leighton presents 2010 USAMO winner Allen Yuan with scholarship

Earlier in the day, at the Sponsors Reception at the MAA’s Carriage House Conference Center in Washington, D.C., the USAMO winners and their families and guests had heard David Bressoud’s presentation on “Srinivasa Ramanujan, A Self-Taught Genius” and watched the film N is a Number: A Portrait of Paul Erdös, created and produced by George Csicsery.

Sponsor representatives President Robert Farinelli of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC), Executive Director Donald E. McClure of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), President Sastry G. Pantula of the American Statistical Association (ASA), Richard Rusczyk of the Art of Problem Solving, Past President Robert F. Conger of the Casualty Actuarial Society, and President Tom Tosch of Mu Alpha Theta congratulated the students and offered tokens of appreciation. President-Elect Eve Torrence of Pi Mu Epsilon inducted the students into the honor society.

On the day after the Awards Ceremony, the students traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, where they will participate, along with about 50 other students, in the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MOSP) for in-depth training in mathematical problem solving. The program is funded in part by the Akamai Foundation.

Ten of the USAMO winners, along with 15 other students who ranked among the top USAMO scorers, will take the team selection test June 10-12, a three-day marathon during which the students try to solve three problems in four and a half hours each day. The top six students will become members of the U.S. team to the IMO, which be held in Astana, Kazakhstan, July 2-14.

The American Mathematics Competitions, which consist of the AMC 8, AMC 10, AMC 12, AIME, and USAMO contests, is one of the oldest and largest programs of the MAA.

USAMO sponsors include the Academy of Applied Science, Akamai Foundation, American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, American Mathematical Society, American Statistical Association, Art of Problem Solving, Awesome Math, Canada/USA Mathcamp, Casualty Actuarial Society, D.E. Shaw and Co., IDEAMath, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, MathPath, MathZoom Academy, Mu Alpha Theta, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Pi Mu Epsilon, Society of Actuaries, and USA Mathematical Talent Search.

News Date: 
Wednesday, June 9, 2010