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U.S. Girls Win Medals in Mathematical Olympiad

  1. October 01, 2011
  2. MATHEMATICAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
  3. MAA FOCUS
  4. http://digital.ipcprintservices.com/publication/?i=85642

All eight young women on the U.S. team have won medals at the China Girls Mathematical Olympiad (CGMO): two gold, one silver, and five bronze.

The girls-only international competition was held August 1-2 in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong in southern China's Guangdong Province. Awards are given for reaching or surpassing certain thresholds on a rigorous two-day exam, and not for beating other contestants.

Gold medals were awarded to both Danielle Wang, 14, from Campbell, California, a freshman entering Westmont High School this fall; and Victoria Xia, 15, from Vienna, Virginia, a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

A silver medal was won by Julia Huang, 15, from Saratoga, California, a sophomore at Lynbrook High School.

Bronze medals were awarded to Rebecca Burks, 16, from Los Altos, California, a junior at Danaidae Learning Studio; Christina Chen, 16, of Newton, Massachusetts, a junior at Newton North High School; Sarah Herrmann, 15, from La Jolla, California, a junior at La Jolla High School; Elaine Hou, 15, from Seffner, Florida, a sophomore at C. Leon King High School; and Haotian (Tiffany) Wu, 16, from Sugar Land, Texas, a junior at Clements High School.

"We are thrilled by the outstanding performance of every member of the U.S. team at the China Girls Math Olympiad," says Robert Bryant, director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), which along with MAA, sponsors the team.

"This international competition," Bryant says, "provides an invaluable opportunity to encourage young women to study mathematics and develop their talent. The CGMO experience has a profound effect on the young women who participate, and it serves as an inspiration to other students, helping them appreciate the fun and accomplishment of solving hard math problems."

The 190 girls who entered the CGMO this year represented such countries as Japan, Russia, the United States, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and China. Founded in 2002, the CGMO began as a regional competition for teams of female students from China and other eastern Asian countries. It was expanded to teams from more countries, and the MSRI sent the first team from the United States in 2007.

Support for the team also comes from the Akamai Foundation, IBM Research-Almaden, the National Science Foundation, and the Sunlin and Priscilla Chou Foundation.

NOTE: Photos of the team can be seen by accessing the URL at the top of this webpage and viewing page 4.