July 12, 2010
In one of its better showings in recent years, the USA team placed third in the 51st International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). US contestant Evan O'Dorney (Venture School in California) earned the second best score among all individuals competing in the contest.
“The team trained really hard,” says Steven Dunbar, MAA Director of American Mathematics Competitions program. “The results were excellent.”
The IMO is an annual six-problem, 42-point math competition held over two days. More than 90 nations compete in this annual event, which is the oldest of the International Science Olympiads. Each day participants take a 4.5-hour, three-problem exam, which covers a wide range of mathematics. Past IMO questions can be found here.
The team from the People's Republic of China was this year's overall winner, with the Russian Federation placing second. The full results are available here.
Contestants who scored more than 27 points receive gold medals. Silver medals are awarded to those who score more than 21. In addition to O'Dorney, USA team members Xiaoyu He and Benjamin Gunby won gold medals and Calvin Deng, In Sung Na, and Allen Yuan received silver.
The six members of the U.S. team were selected from the top scorers of this year's USA Mathematical Olympiad. The U.S. has been represented by a small team of exceptionally talented high school students each year since 1974. The 2010 members of the U.S. team are (in alphabetical order):
Calvin Deng (William G. Enloe High School, Cary, North Carolina)
Benjamin Gunby (Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC)
Xiaoyu He (Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Acton, Massachusetts)
In Sung Na (Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, Old Tappan, New Jersey)
Evan O'Dorney (Venture School in California)
Allen Yuan (Detroit Country Day School, Farmington, Michigan)
O'Dorney is no stranger to competition. 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). For more on O'Dorney, see "Evan O'Dorney, Spelling Champ and Math Whiz".
Allen Yuan achieved the top score in this year's USAMO competition. During the USAMO Awards Ceremony, Yuan received the Samuel L. Greitzer/Murray S. Klamkin Award for Mathematical Excellence and a $20,000 scholarship from Akamai Foundation. Toan Duc Phan (Taft School, Watertown, Connecticut) and Xiaoyu He shared second place and received a $12,500 Akamai scholarship each.
Akamai's Tom Leighton Presents 2010 USAMO Winner Allen Yuan with Scholarship.
The U.S. team was selected during Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MOSP), a training program for exceptional high school students held at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
One team leader, one deputy leader, and several observers accompany the students to the competition. This year, Zuming Feng (Phillips Exeter Academy) is acting as team leader with Loh Po-Shen (Carnegie Mellon University) as deputy leader and Steven Dunbar and Tatiana Shubin (San Jose State University) as observers.
Along with touring parts of Kazakhstan, the U.S. team had a chance to visit the U.S. Embassy and meet with Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland.
The first IMO was held in Romania in 1959. Since then it has been held every year except 1980. That year, it was cancelled due to internal strife in Mongolia. More information about the IMO can be found here.
The MAA-produced documentary Hard Problems follows the U.S. team during the 2006 IMO. The film is currently airing on public television stations. Full schedule is available here.
Scene from Hard Problems during the 2006 IMO.
For additional information, contact Laura McHugh at email@example.com, or by phone at 202-319-8482.
Mathematical Association of America is the largest professional society of college and university mathematics teachers in the world. The MAA's 25,000 members include two- and four-year college, university, and graduate school faculty, high school teachers, government and corporate workers, research mathematicians, as well as graduate and undergraduate students.
For more information about MAA's American Mathematics Competitions visit their official website.