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U.S. Team Comes in 5th at 2006 IMO

U.S. Team Comes in 5th at 2006 IMO

By Harry Waldman and Fernando Q. Gouvêa

At the 2006 International Mathematical Olympiad, held Ljubljana, Slovenia, nearly 500 young mathematicians competed in solving problems posed in a test administered on July 12 and July 13. The USA team came in 5th among the 90 participating countries. Top honors went to the People's Republic of China (214 points), followed by Russia (174), Korea (170), and Germany (157). Iran and Moldova placed among the top ten teams.

One of the testing rooms during the competition. Photograph by George Csicsery.

Overall, the IMO awarded 42 gold medals, 87 silver and 124 bronze medals. The top three individual contestants tied for first place with 42 points, the maximum possible score. They were Zhiyu Liu of China, Iurie Boreico of Moldova, and Alexander Magazinov of Russia.

The USA team has consistently finished in the top five for the last seven IMOs. The six members of the USA team got 152 points overall, receiving 2 gold and 4 silver medals. The team members and their results were:

  • Zachary Abel, a graduate of Greenhill School in Dallas, TX received a silver medal.
  • Zarathustra Brady, who attends Magnolia Science Academy in Van Nuys, CA, received a gold medal.
  • Ryan Ko, who graduated from Philips Exeter Academy in Exeter NH and is from Allendale, NJ, received a silver medal.
  • Yi Sun, who graduated from Harker School in Saratoga, CA, won a silver medal.
  • Arnav Tripathy, who graduated from East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, NC, won a gold medal.
  • Alex Zhai, who attends University Laboratory High School in Champaign, IL, won a silver medal.

The US team waiting for the opening ceremonies to begin. Photograph by George Csicsery.

The 2006 IMO was the 47th in the annual series of international mathematical competitions. The competition poses six math questions to be solved, three very challenging problems each day in a 4.5 hour session.

The MAA is the main sponsor of the USA team at the IMO. Additional contributions come from 23 organizations and companies in the mathematical sciences. The US team members are selected for their high scores in the various stages of the competitions organized by MAA's American Mathematics Competitions program, including the USAMO (for which see page 4). More details on this year's IMO are available at

News Date: 
Friday, July 28, 2006