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Studying adds up for local teen

  1. September 01, 2010
  2. By Cory Minderhout
  3. THE SANTA CLARITA VALLEY SIGNAL
  4. http://www.the-signal.com/section/36/article/33021/

Community: Kruayatidee takes bronze medal in international math competition

A teen from Stevenson Ranch who earned a medal in an international high school mathematics competition said a love of numbers wasn’t the only thing that united girls from 10 different nations.

“A lot of the other girls liked Taylor Swift, too,” said bronze-medalist Adisa Kruayatidee, 17.

Adisa was one of 190 girls — broken down into 48 teams from 10 different countries — who competed in the ninth annual China Girls Mathematical Olympiad in Shijiazhuang, China.

Adisa, who attends Phillips Exeter Academy, first became interested in math when her fifth- and sixth-grade teachers encouraged her to enter local math programs and competitions.

“I definitely like how (math) is challenging, and it’s not something that I’m guaranteed to be able to solve,” Adisa said.

Adisa felt both excitement and butterflies as she traveled to China for the competition.

“I was scared that I wouldn’t do well,” Adisa said. “I wanted to represent the team well.”

The two U.S. teams were sponsored by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, which has sent teams to the competition for the last four years. The competitors, chosen by the MSRI, were female finalists in the 2010 USA Mathematical Olympiad.

“We are thrilled by the outstanding performance of the U.S. teams at the China Girls Math Olympiad,” Robert Bryant, director of MSRI, said in a written statement.

The event was held from Aug. 9-13 and consisted of a strenuous two-day exam.

“I got stuck on the second problem for a long time, and it discouraged me.” Adisa said.

Adisa said her favorite part of the competition was meeting the other girls from around the world and finding out they had similar interests. She enjoyed the community the competition provided and enjoyed spending time with other girls who shared an interest in math.

“I remember when I first started competing I’d go to a math competition, and it would be mostly guys. and they’d be friends with each other. and I didn’t know how to talk to them because I was only 10 or 11,” Adisa said. “I remember asking ‘Why aren’t there many girls here?’”

Despite Adisa’s love for math, she isn’t solely a right brain kind of girl — she also has a great interest in the Latin language.

“(Latin) is like math,” she said, “because in the beginning, it was a challenge for me.”

NOTE: A photo of Adisa Kruayatidee with her bronze medal can be viewed by following the URL link at the top of this webpage.