Thursday, July 14, 2016
U.S. Team Wins Second Consecutive International Mathematical Olympiad
Team Trained at CMU Under Coach Po-Shen Loh
Olympic success has come early, and now often, to the United States. For the second year in a row, the U.S. team placed first at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), the world championship mathematics competition for high school students.
More than 100 countries competed in this year's competition, July 6-16, in Hong Kong.
"Each student and their families, teachers and coaches have put in a tremendous amount of work to get to this point," said U.S. team coach Po-Shen Loh, associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University.
Before traveling to Hong Kong, the six-person team, along with 64 of the best math students from the United States and around the world, met at Carnegie Mellon for the Mathematical Association of America's (MAA's) Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MOSP). The techniques taught at the MOSP prepared the students to perform in the IMO and will help them succeed throughout their lives.
"We are trying to provide a solid infrastructure to support the extraordinary mathematical talent that we have here in the United States," Loh said. "By doing this, we hope to provide students with problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will help them in high school, college and their professional lives. It's not about a single competition, it's about their 20- or 30-year trajectory."
Loh and the MAA's teaching philosophy have proven to be successful. Last year the team finished first for the first time since 1994.
The U.S. IMO team is selected through a series of competitions organized by the MAA, culminating with the USA Mathematical Olympiad. Team members are: Ankan Bhattacharya, Michael Kural, Allen Liu, Junyao Peng, Ashwin Sah and Yuan Yao. All six team members received individual gold medals, and Liu and Yao earned perfect scores.
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