For the second year in a row, the U.S. team won first place at the 57th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Hong Kong, July 6-16.
The IMO is the World Championship Mathematics Competition for High School students, where the brightest mathematics students from more than 100 countries compete. The winning U.S. team score was 214 out of a possible 252, ahead of the Republic of Korea (207) and China (204).
“We are very excited to bring home another first-place IMO award, which serves as a recognition for the the high standard of mathematical creativity and problem-solving capabilities we have in our country,”said Po-Shen Loh, lead coach for the U.S. team and associate professor of mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University.
The six U.S. team members were selected through a series of competitions organized by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), culminating with the USA Mathematical Olympiad. The six team members joined 70 of their peers at Carnegie Mellon University in June to immerse themselves in problem solving for three weeks at MAA’s Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program.
“We have been running the U.S. Olympiad training program with a focus on the long-term development of our country’s talent, and it’s great to see that reflected in the continued team success a second year in a row,” said MAA Executive Director Michael Pearson.
Members of the winning 2016 U.S. team were Ankan Bhattacharya, Michael Kural, Allen Liu, Junyao Peng, Ashwin Sah, and Yuan Yao, all of whom were awarded gold medals for their individual scores. Team members Liu and Yao each earned perfect test scores. The team was accompanied by Loh and deputy coach Razvan Gelca, professor of mathematics and statistics at Texas Tech University.
IMO scores are based on the number of points scored by individual team members on six problems. On each day of the two-day competition, the teams have 4.5 hours to work on three problems. Liu and Kural are the only returning team members from last year’s winning U.S. team.
The mission of the MAA’s American Mathematics Competitions is to increase interest in mathematics and to develop problem-solving skills through participation in a fun competition. Major donors to the MAA Competitions program include the Akamai Foundation and the Simons Foundation.
The Mathematical Association of America is the world’s largest community of mathematicians, students, and enthusiasts. We accelerate the understanding of our world through mathematics. This is because mathematics drives society and shapes our lives.