August 7, 2008
Another Olympiad is taking place in China this August. The 2008 China Girls Mathematical Olympiad (CGMO) will be held in Zhongshan on August 14-18, and two four-member teams of high school students from the United States will take part in the competition for the second time. Once again, the MAA is co-sponsoring the teams.
Rejoining this year’s teams are Wendy Mu, Colleen Lee, and Jennifer Iglesias. Carolyn Kim, Jenny Jin, Joy Zheng, Lynnelle Ye, and Inyoung Cho will take part in their first CGMO. These students were chosen from the ranks of the top female finalists in the 2008 USA Mathematical Olympiad. Cho, Lee, Iglesias, and Kim are on the Eastern U.S. team, while Mu, Jin, Zheng, and Ye will represent the Western U.S.
To get ready for the contest in China, which has been held annually since 2002, the young women spent three weeks at the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, which helped them develop their problem-solving skills. The preparation also helped boost their confidence for participation in an international competition.
The teams will travel to Zhongshan, in Guangdong Province near Hong Kong, where the competition will occur. They will also have some time before and after the event to explore Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Coaches for the team are Zuming Feng of Phillips Exeter Academy and director of the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program since 2003; Alison Miller, a member of the 2004 U.S. IMO team; and MIT student Maria Monks.
Other sponsors of the U.S. teams are Intel; Akamai Foundation; Mathematical Sciences Research Institute; Shiing-Shen Chern Foundation for Mathematical Research; and Sunlin and Priscilla Chou Foundation.
Update, August 12 - The team arrived in China and began its trip with an expedition to Lamma Island, located just off southwest coast of Hong Kong.
“We went on a nine-mile hike and ate at a seafood restaurant on the island,” said Coach Maria Monks. “It took all day and the girls were tired, but they had a great time.”
The team will also explore Hong Kong and Shanghai before the competition kicks off on August 14.
For updated messages from team members and photos, go to http://www.msri.org/specials/gmo/2008.
The U.S. China Girls Mathematical Olympiad team while hiking on Lamma Island (left), and unusually shaped rocks cover the landscape near the top of the island (right).