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China Girls Math Olympiad: U.S. High School Girls to Compete

The 48th International Mathematical Olympiad is history. Now comes the 2007 China Mathematical Olympiad for Girls, which will be held in Wuhan, China, from August 11-16. For the first time, the United States is taking part in the competition, and the MAA is co-sponsoring the participation of two four-member teams of high school girls — one made up of participants from the eastern U.S. and one from the western U.S.

"We are proud to support the U.S. teams' participation," said MAA President Joe Gallian. "The team members are outstanding role models for young women talented in mathematics."

The East team members are Sway Chen (Lexington, Mass.), Jennifer Iglesias (Aurora, Ill.), Wendy Hou (Tampa, Fla.), and Sherry Gong (Exeter, N.H.). Gong won a gold medal at the 2007 IMO. The West team members are Marianna Mao (Fremont, Calif.), Wendy Mu (Saratoga, Calif.), Colleen Lee (Palo Alto, Calif.), and Patricia Li (San Jose, Calif.). These students were chosen from the ranks of the top female finalists in the 2006 USA Mathematical Olympiad.

To get ready for the contest in China, which has been held annually since 2002, the young high school women are spending July 16-Aug. 6 at the "AwesomeMath" summer program, in Dallas, which is designed to hone their problem-solving skills up to the Olympiad level; that is, to help them think creatively about mathematical concepts. This preparation will also give them a chance to get to know one another, build team spirit, and develop the confidence to participate in international competition.

The teams will travel to Beijing, then to Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, in central China, for the competition.

Coaches for the team are Melanie Matchett Wood, a graduate student at Princeton who was the first female to make a U.S. IMO team; Zuming Feng of Phillips Exeter Academy and director of the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program since 2003; and Alison Miller, a member of the 2004 U.S. IMO team.

Other sponsors of the U.S. teams are the IBM Almaden Research Center; Akamai Foundation; Mathematical Sciences Research Institute; Shiing-Shen Chern Foundation for Mathematical Research; and Sunlin and Priscilla Chou Foundation.

News Date: 
Tuesday, July 31, 2007