Carnegie Mellon University
July 23, 2017

Carnegie Mellon Math Professor Po-Shen Loh Featured on CBS Weekend News

By Jocelyn Duffy

Jocelyn Duffy
  • Mellon College of Science
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Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences Po-Shen Loh is "no ordinary math teacher" according to a story that aired on the CBS Weekend News.

CBS correspondent Jim Axelrod came to CMU to interview Loh during the Mathematical Association of America's Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MOP), an intensive problem solving camp held on campus for 75 of the best young high school mathematicians from the United States and countries around the world. Among the students was the six person U.S. International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) team, who were preparing for the IMO.

A silver medalist on the 1999 U.S. IMO team, Loh became the team's head coach and director of MOP three years ago. His teaching philosophy — which is the same philosophy he uses when teaching students at CMU — has nothing to do with teaching students how to get the right answer or win a competition. Instead, he pushes students to think creatively and critically, skills he hopes will lead them to success in both the classroom and life.

"If you constantly challenge, and enjoy the love of doing better today than you did yesterday, you will be on an onward march towards success," Loh told Axelrod.

Loh’s methods appear to be working. The U.S. IMO team placed first in 2015 and 2016. In this year's competition held in Rio de Janeiro, all of the team members medaled — three gold and three silver. Overall, the team placed fourth out of 110 countries.