Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

Home > Pages > 2012 China Girls Math Olympiad

2012 China Girls Math Olympiad

Front row (left to right), Victoria Xia, Gabriella Studt, Alicia Weng, Laura Pierson, and Danielle Wang; in the back row, Cynthia Day, Sherry Gong (coach), Jennifer Iglesias (coach), Jingyi Zhao, and Courtney Guo.

For the sixth year in a row MSRI will be sending eight of the brightest young women in mathematics to participate in the 2012 China Girls Mathematical Olympiad. The competition was originally established as a regional competition for teams of female high school students from China and other eastern Asian countries (including Russia). Several years ago China expanded the competition to countries from around the world, with the USA, Canada, South Africa, and Australia among the invitees.

The team will spend three weeks preparing for the competition at the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program offered by the Mathematical Association of America on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The Olympiad will be held from August 8-12 in Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province.

We are grateful to our generous partners in this project whose financial support has made the trip possible: the Akamai Foundation, Delta Air Lines, Inc, the Mathematical Association of America, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, the National Science Foundation, the S. S. Chern Foundation, and the Sunlin and Priscilla Chou Foundation.

The members of the USA team are, Courtney Guo, Laura Pierson, Gabriella Studt, Alicia Weng, Jingyi Zhao, Cynthia Day, Danielle Wang, and Victoria Xia.

The team coaches are Zuming Feng, Jenny Iglesias, and Sherry Gong.

The girls and their coaches will be sending regular messages and photos that we will post here. We invite you to check this page regularly and follow along on this exciting adventure.

All of the young women on the U.S. team have won medals!
Among the eight girls on the team, three students won gold medals,
four students won silver medals, and one was awarded a bronze medal.

Click here to read the full story.

Read the 2007 journal.
Read the 2008 journal.
Read the 2009 journal.
Read the 2010 journal.
Read the 2011 journal.
Local news video of CGMO 2008.

Team Member Messages & Photos

The team arrives in China!
From left to right: Sherry Gong (coach), Gabriella Studt, Courtney Guo,  Victoria Xia, Alicia Weng, Jingyi Zhao, Cynthia Day, Danielle Wang, Laura Pierson, and Jennifer Iglesias (coach).
August 15, 2012

Even though I have about 12 days until school starts again, today feels like the last day of summer. Probably because today marks in a way, the end of the math season. Darn. On the other hand, this was probably the best summer I've ever had; MOP was even better than I'd expected (I had high expectations), and China was just amazing and awesome. I loved hanging out with everyone, seeing Hong Kong and Guangzhou, getting to know our guides at the school, and also getting to know Jenny and Sherry better. I also learned a new version of contact which is actually a lot more fun than the version I knew before...

            I'm really excited to go home and see my family, but it's also really sad to leave China and say goodbye to everyone. Right now I'm on the plane with Victoria and Jenny and we have about four hours left on our 14 hour flight. Luckily, the time has gone by really fast, because each of us has our own tv with complimentary movies. So far I've watched Contagion, The Iron Lady, and The Hunger Games, as well as an episode of each of Glee and The Big Bang Theory. But then I got bored of TV, and my eyes are really tired from staring at a screen for so long. Anyway after so much tv, I feel like I should either sleep or get something done for a while...


Bye everyone! I will miss you a lot! And I hope to see you all at MOP again next year!! (darn, now I have to take USAMO...)



P.S. Cynthia you to come visit us all at HMMT!!!

August 15, 2012

Hello! We are at the airport, and I have been sitting in a chair scratching my 8 mosquito bites which randomly appeared on my arm yesterday when we were in a hotel that supposedly did not have mosquitoes in it. So, obviously CGMO is over. It was fun if it wasn't so hot all the time, so I hope it's in a less hot part of China next year. Also, being in China reminds me how bad my Chinese is, which is sad. But it was fun anyway, and we're going to go through security soon, so bye!


August 15, 2012

Whoa, I'm writing an entry again! So it turns out that we are not going through security quite yet, whee~


It's strange to think that CGMO is over, because it's been such a big part of my life for the last four years, and now suddenly I'll be heading off to college and bidding the world of Olympiad math good-bye. It's been amazing though. I'm so happy that I've gotten the chance to have these awesome experiences and meet incredible people and WE ARE TOTALLY GOING TO SEE EACH OTHER AGAIN. So there.


August 15, 2012

We spent most of yesterday traveling and spent last night in a hotel in Hong Kong. Cynthia, Danielle, and I are currently on our way to the airport and have already left Gabby and Victoria. Wow, CGMO was a lot of fun; it's been so cool spending time with the other girls and also visiting a really different culture. When I took the AMC 10 this year I had never been out of the country and hadn't even heard of CGMO. My goal was to make the AIME. Anyway, my flight is leaving soon so goodbye!


August 13, 2012

Hello! I am also writing in this journal today because my last entry wasn't that good – I just demanded that I could have the journal so I could write about Sherlock!


Anyways, Victoria seems to have today covered, so I will write about yesterday! We got up really early to go to the zoo, which was painful because I finally got over jetlag and stopped waking up at 5am. But it's okay, because the zoo was awesome! There were so many animals like RED PANDAS and hippos and chinchillas and white tigers and flamingos and more~


Also, the closing ceremony, Courtney's dad's coworkers took us out to dinner and bought us fruit. They were really really nice! We walked around downtown Guagnzhou for a while, which was interesting because it seemed as brightly lit and busy as Times Square. I love how vibrant city life is in China! Alicia and I also discovered that we can give the kite we bought to Meghal, solving both the problem of what to get Meghal and who should take the kite home, since we split the cost. Yay!



[Note: Although it may be clear from context, I would like to avoid confusion, and note that all marriages, divorces, and babies mentioned are all imaginary]

August 13,2012

Hello, I've decided to steal the journal from Danielle, as her entry makes our day sound depressing or annoying or something. But it was actually really fun! (Danielle thinks so too; her writing just doesn't quite capture her emotions.)


We spent the day being driven from place to place and shown around Guangzhou by a few people associated with Courtney's dad's company. (Thanks so much to all fo them for their geniality!) We started the day at a superbly fancy breakfast place where we got to try all sorts of authentic local foods. Breakfast was followed by a visit to the Canton Tower (Danielle's “really tall tower thing”) over 400m high, from which we viewed the city below us from a room at the top that had floor to ceiling glass for its entire perimeter. Buildings we considered huge from the ground looked remarkably small. The Canton Tower was followed by an impressively formal Karaoke place (complete with a buffet) where we started to eat and sing/listen to songs for almost three hours. We are now at a hotel in Guangzhou, and I was impressed by the fact that in order to turn on the lights in your room, you have to leaver your room key in a slot by the light switch; that's such a clever way to get people to remember their key and turn off the lights when leaving the room! (Or you could potentially forget both...)


Jingyi has requested me to write about her and Alicia's baby. They were married about a week ago, divorced yesterday, and remarried this morning at breakfast. Sometime over the course of that they had a baby named Evan. Jingyi claims the baby was very cute; I use “was” because Alicia ate the baby and I never got to see (I am merely relaying Jingyi's story). The baby was made of vegetables because Alicia's stomach is full of vegetables, and that's also why Alicia was able to eat the baby (She's vegetarian). By the way, Alicia, I'm quoting Jingyi directly as I write this, so if for some odd reason you would like to send an angry email, it should go to her and not me. Actually both of us so I can get a few good laughs, haha.


Okay this message is already way too long. To everyone: Take care ~!


August 13, 2012

Hello! We are now at a karaoke place thing (Oh, and I learned how to pronounce that word today!) and people (meaning Courtney) are singing “Memory”. Oh wait, Jingyi is actually using a microphone too. Okay nothing much has happened today. This morning we went to this really tall tower thing and there was nothing to do there.

Wow I am actually having a hard time thinking of something to write. Normally I have to stop myself for rambling for pages.

Um So Alicia just left us not so long ago, and now the song is Spanish and I can't understand a thing. And China is very hot...by the way. Okay, I will shut up. Bye!


August 13, 2012

So CGMO was over yesterday, and there was not so much “Fei Hua” as I thought it would be in the closing ceremony. U.S.A has another all medalists year! YAY!!! The person is saying how CGMO is getting better since everyone's score is higher than past years, but I thought that's bad. CGMO is supposed to be challenging so that we can have fun when solving beautiful problems. But it's not!

            Today Alicia and Courtney are going to leave for Beijing. They are bad people. I want to divorce with Alicia! I'm going back home tomorrow and the other girl's will leave the day after tomorrow. My last entry. Bye~



August 11, 2012

Hi people! So yesterday was the domino competition and we made the coolest thing ever! Our design had the letters CGMO linked together along with an American flag that Victoria and I made with some red, white and blue dominoes that we found in a gigantic bucket in the middle of the gym. Also, Cynthia and Alicia made a ladybug and a fish to add to our design. It was really funny because during the building hour, one of the people in charge of the competition kept going on about the benefits of playing with dominoes; how dominoes encourage students to think creatively, have patience, work together, and team them the “chain effect”. After that, another announcer kept saying that everyone should be careful not to knock over one domino once they had finished their design, as it would cause all of the rest to fall.

            Once we had finished making our design, we waited to have our design judged. After a while, the judges (and spectators) came over to us, and Jingyi gave a short speech about our design. The translator thought she was going to speak in English, and he was all ready to translate into Chinese, but instead she spoke in Chinese, and everyone found it really funny. After she had finished, a lady with a microphone randomly came up to me and asked what the meaning of our design was. I honestly couldn't think of anything to say, so I just said, “uhhhh...ummmmm.....” figuring she'd soon give up and ask someone else but she persisted in trying to get me to talk about the deep meaning behind our domino structure. Eventually Jingyi ran up to me and whispered something in my ear, and the lady gave the microphone to her instead. Jingyi took it from her and said something to the effect of, “it doesn't have any meaning? Why does it have to have any meaning? We just wanted to have fun with it,” and then the announcer said, “oh, so the meaning is that you had fun?” Lol.


So I just kind of bombed the test. Darn. I feel like I prepared for a totally different test than what we got. Also I feel cheated of a good algebra problem, since the one on day one was trivial, and the one on day two was really just number theory. Why why why did I spend so much time studying algebra? Oh well. That's my rant for today


In other news, I saw a cat today! We were in the cafeteria eating dinner, and I saw a cute little cat a few feet away from me, so I got up and went over to it. It was kind of shy, but it started to sniff my hand and I was about to try to pet it when Courtney came over and tried to get it to eat the soup she didn't want, but then it got scared and ran away. I guess the soup wasn't very good, haha.



August 10, 2012

            Today's actually the 11th, but I'm writing about yesterday because it was so so so awesome! The test itself was okay – actually, it was a little strange because apparently they wanted to make the test more accessible so they lowered the difficulty level a lot. As a result, almost all of us got either 3 or 4 problems depending on whether we could do geometry haha.

            Then we went to Sherry and Jenny's hotel ro prepare for the dominoes competition!There were really amazing videos online which we totally couldn't replicate, but we did get some good ideas. Anyways, Gabby is going to write more about the competition itself but now I'm going to talk about the really really really amazing thing that happened.

            This is mostly great because it was so unexpected. So they were playing a movie at night, and initially we weren't going to go because we thought it would be a Chinese movie that we wouldn't understand, but instead it was SHERLOCK, which is the best best best best BEST BEST EVER!!! In fact, it was so exciting that when we walked in (we were a little late) I screamed “Oh my gosh it's SHERLOCK” before realizing that the room was already full of people trying to watch the movie. Oops.

            Oh yeah, and it was raining and Alicia and I ran around in the rain and it was splendid! I'm going to pass the journal to Gabby now. Bye!


August 9, 2012

Hi. So today I finally got to meet the whole team again, it was good to see them again after so many weeks. Anyway, Cynthia gave me a strawberry pillow-cushiony thing for my birthday, and Jingyi gave me a paper CGMO medal she made that said “Courtney Guo Mathematical Olympiad”. Thanks! (Oh and someone gave me a banana....maybe that was Alicia).

            Today we had the opening ceremony. It started with the performance of a string group, and they were pretty good. They first played a mix of a bunch of famous classical pieces, and then they played Canon in D Major (which has the most boring cello part in the history of cello parts...the whole thing is just 8 notes repeated over and over again.) They made me want to play my cello again. Darn. Then they had a bunch of people give speeches. Oh and Gabby gave a speech on behalf of our team.

            Then we had a tour of the school campus. We saw a bunch of art (it was pretty good) and a lot of cool plants. We also played on the playground, which was really fun, except that I couldn't do the monkey bars because my hands were too slippery. Darn.

            After lunch, we went to aerobics class, but left after like half an hour because we were very confused and didn't feel like doing the dance competition.

            CGMO has been pretty fun so far; we had awesome guides who are really nice. Tomorrow's the first day of the test...good luck everyone!

August 8, 2012

Hey there!

So Jingyi and I found a note on the desk when we woke up that says:
“Dear Friends,

We regret to inform you that due to extreme circumstances, one of your very important belongings has to moved to an unspecified location in your room


-Hotel Staff”

            HMM. This looks suspiciously like Victoria's hand writing. Oh no, the hotel staff must've sneaked into her room and carefully studied her handwriting and is now trying to trick us into thinking it was actually Victoria who did this. We must not be fooled.

            Anyway, we (with the exception of Courtney, whose birthday was the day before yesterday. btw A belated happy birthday, Courtney!_ met up in Hong Kong at about 3AM yesterday morning! And are going to

Guangzhou by bus sometime today. It's great seeing the other girls again. Especially, Jingyi (….she made me say that....)! It's so different being with them in a not-very-mathy environment. 

            Jingyi is plotting something evil, and is now shaking my legs violently and fake-crying. So confused. Now she has gone to look at the Bary article. Ew.

                       Not much else has happened today so far, so I will talk about yesterday instead! We are now on the bus, so I won't have much else to do besides writing in the journal anyway.

            In the afternoon we took a bus ( and Victoria was my buddy, yay!) to the cable car station and waited in a really long line for a pretty long time. To stay entertained, we (mostly Jingyi) imitated the pictures of people in Kung Fu poses. Jingyi and I also sorta learned to swing dance from Jenny (though not well!), which was very dizzying.

            On the cable car, we waved at all the other passing cable cars (which I think creeped some people out) and screamed every time we went downwards. Oh and the mountains around us were so pretty, with so many trees everywhere! And there was a very cool little part-wood, part-cobblestone trail below us that Victoria kept watching the whole time.

            Darn why is this tunnel so long? I tried holding my breath, but we've been in here for over four minutes and I still can't see the end.

            After we got to Ngong Ping Village and ate, Cynthia and I bought a kite! We discussed for ten minutes how we would haggle, but when we actually bought it we just immediately paid full price. Oops, we are so good at this. And we are also so good at flying kites I think our record was three feet above the ground, for about two seconds! Then we watched a pretty cool Kung Fu show and also walked around Big Buddha, who was indeed quite big.

            On the way back we screamed and waved more and pretended to be malfunctioning machines. And then by the time we got back we were possessed. But it's all good; at least we got to keep our smiles

            Yeah that's all. Good luck to the rest of the team! Not that any of you will need it!


August 6, 2012

            I'm in Japan now. I'll be in Hong Kong! (4th consecutive journal)

July 26, 2012

            Hi! It's me! Sorry, it's me again...It's my third consecutive journal so you probably (definitely) are tired of me. But it's hard for me to keep the journal for 5 weeks without writing it.  I am in University of Puget Sound (with abbreviation UPS), And today is the first time I solve a geometry problem by using bary bash! (with help of 2nd CGMO alternate). It is a great accomplishment! We are going to China in ten days!!! OMG I am so excited. 


July 18, 2012

            Hmmmm. I'm not at MOP or CGMO, but I feel like writing something so I'm writing. OK. So, I'm the journal keeper between MOP and CGMO because people trust me! (Thank you). I'm at mathcamp now. It's good but MOP is the BEST. Girls are keeping in touch by emails (gmail specifically) but someone (e.x. Laura) doesn't have her own email account, and someone (e.x. Danielle) never replies. I found our journal is on MSRI's website now and my writing....sucks . All kinds of grammar mistakes and words miswriting. I'm gonna fail SAT oh SAT! DARN. It's worse than AMC. By the way I am taking a class called AMC Game now. Hopefully I won't fail next year (I failed this year's already). Alicia and I are doing ITPSSC weekly. We came up with this awesome contest a few weeks ago; ITPSSC is Individual Team Problem Solving Session Contest. Cool name uh? In this summer. I am going to learn Bary Bash! Anyway then I can bash geometry more happily. Yay~ And Alicia hate me more. And IMO is over. Congratulations for the U.S. team member for placing third in the world! Congratulations to Xiaoyu, Ravi, Mitchell, Bobby, Thomas, and David! I hope our CGMO team can be as awesome as them



June 29, 2012

            This is the departure day and everyone is leaving MOP . Danielle and Cynthia left at 4:30. Victoria and Courtney, 8:30. Alicia, Meghal, and Gabby, 11:00. Laura went with her mom. I stayed up the whole night and fell asleep after Danielle and Cynthia left. I am the last one to leave MOP. After everyone else left, I was sitting in the blue room by myself. The blue room is still the blue room but the MOPpers are not going to be here until next summer. I'm gonna work hard and make it back next year. Thank you everyone for making MOP awesome! Last entry at MOP. See you in CGMO in August.

June 29, 2012

            Why why why does MOP have to end already! It's going to be so depressing to leave tomorrow. Darn. But I guess I've had a lot of fun here, met tons of cool people and learned a bunch of random interesting math. Yay! Oh and also, I discovered a new talent: my ability to sing the nyan cat song!

            So, today there was a seminar after lunch called “Beyond MOP”. To be honest, I thought at first that it would be a long speech about how we're all winners in the end, even if we don't make IMO, but the speech turned out to be really cool. Instead,  all of the teachers and graders at MOP were there, and it was interesting to hear their opinions about college, grad school, etc.

            After the seminar, I went to the rec center with Courtney, Meghal, and Albert. We all wanted to go on the climbing wall, but when we got there, the mean lady there wouldn't let us climb. Darn. So I ended up playing badminton with Courtney and Albert for about an hour, and then I had to go to dinner and pack.

            The talent show was absolutely hilarious. During one act, James Tao impersonated David Yang, Thomas Swayze impersonated James Tao, and Michael Gao impersonated Zuming. Even funnier than that, Andre Arslan impersonated Owen by having all of the girls follow him around and talking about how high his ratio was...

            Honestly, MOP was probably the most fun camp I've been to (although MathPath is a close 2nd). I love the math here, I love the people, I love the atmosphere. It'll be really hard to go home, but I'm hoping to keep doing a lot of math and keep in touch with everybody from MOP. Now I have a ton of motivation to study.

OMG I can't wait for CGMO! So excited!

Darn. I'm going to miss everyone so much. But....it's been an amazing 3.5 weeks! Yay!


June 29, 2012

Hi. Darn. Last Day of MOP. I'm leaving in 4 hours, and I am using someone's pencil because mine are in my room and I am in Jingyi's room. Apparently I'm helping her pack, but now she's leaving to shower, so I guess I'm just writing in the journal.

I think I did enough sad about MOP ending in my last entry. And I don't feel like writing about today (yesterday) especially since “E. Chen” wrote about pretty much everything exciting that happened today (or at least everything I can remember without thinking, but I have a terrible memory). But anyway, the only thing I remember is the Talent Show, and my adventure with Jingyi to Zuming's room, because it was only a few hours ago, so I'm writing that anyway just in case his 4-page entry doesn't get posted. Okay. So looking back at all the entries in this journal, I feel like mine are all depressing and really badly written, even though I wasn't actually feeling depressed when I was writing them....they're just depressing to read....whatever. This is getting too long. One more thing. The last line of Laura's last entry: I'm pretty sure we didn't know that, right? Okay, bye everyone! Goodbye MOP!

June 28, 2012

11:52 PM
Lincoln, NE

Hey look it's a CGMO journal. Let's hijack it.

So I'm counting down the hours until my shuttle leaves. It's pretty unfortunate, and I guess I will just not attempt to sleep. Jingyi and Danielle are on an “adventure” with a marker of sorts, and Fatty + Dayday are looking for ice cream bars. Alicia's packing. Gaby is eating deformed chocolate. Wait, nevermind. Jingyi and Danielle just got back from drawing on Zuming's door. Whoops. I can guess who they're running away from.

Yeah, MOP in general was amazing. I feel so much more at home here than, uh, at home. Actually I have no idea what I'm going to do when I get home....maybe I'll just start massing problems to make sure I get back next year. Or maybe I'll just play StarCraft.

Actually, I could learn how to berry bash quadrilaterals, whee~

So, TSTST. Apparently my score is in the interval [35,40], which is sufficient to make top eighteen. Good, don't have to prepare for the AIME anymore, yay!

The talent show was pretty awesome. There were “serious acts, not-so-serious acts, and so-not-serious acts”. Mark Sellke won the Countdown: we actually made it past Level 10 in ping-pong; and Michael Gao does an incredible Zuming imitation. As Dr. Dunbar puts it, it's obvious from the talent show acts that we enjoyed the program. I'm a bit disappointed that “I'm a Rock” didn't get a full piano performance, but oh well. I just noticed I'm missing a show. I wonder where it went.

Hmm, what else. ELMO results finally materialized today. gj Alicia you got 28. (Gold basically was between 30 or 31 points ish points. No one solved 3/6; it's pretty silly.) Darn, Lynbrook HS did not win.

osu! popularity is increasing as a function of the number of times Karl makes a noise. Seriously, blue morning classroom is scary. Every several minutes there's a loud noise that sounds like one of {falling elevator, tornado, earthquake, high-pitched scream}.

Carl Lian just walked in to check me in; also, yay, ice cream bars exist. Wait DARN these cookies are pretty good.

Also, Po-Shen's kids are so adorable. They also know how to say “David Yang”. This is slightly troubling since they are still 6 and almost 4.

Well, I guess I should go do something more useful in these last few hours than writing this journal. Like, finding my show. (Walking with one show is tricky.) So I guess I'll finish with a large, in-scale, clearly drawn diagram of something not-geometry.

[picture of a caterpillar whose body segments are Q's]

Fig. 1 QQ-pillar

Ok, we're done, we're done, ….!

Good luck to the CGMO team! BTW, I'm totally not the second CGMO alternate.

-E. Chen
June 28, 2012

            Today was the last day of MOP. The talent show was pretty fun., the Zuming imitation was pretty good.

            Darn. I'm tired and I want to go to sleep. Bye.

-Courtney Guo
June 28, 2012

            I feel so sad MOP is over. We just had our last class on sequences, I'm sad. I wish MOP could be longer. It feels like MOP has been so short, but at the same time, I can't remember a time so long ago that I wasn't at MOP. MOP should just be year-round. It would be amazing to spend more time learning only math instead of history and English as well. And I would love to spend more time with everyone here, since its amazing hanging out with people who have the same interests as me. WHY DOES MOP HAVE TO END. But, any way, I'm glad for the three weeks I got here, and I really hope I can make it back next year.

            -Meghal Gupta
June 28, 2012

            Last day of MOP, nooooooo.    I feel like hardly more than a week ago I arrived in Nebraska lugging a giant suitcase. Right now I'm trying to put off packing for as long as I can because I don't want to feel like I'm leaving. The reality hasn't quite hit yet, which I imagine is a good thing or else I'd be really really sad (oops. That's probably going to be in a few hours.)

            I guess all I really want to say is thanks to everyone for making MOP the absolutely best thing ever; that goes for all the girls, the instructors and graders, the sponsors and organizers who made it possible, my roommate, Danielle, and most of all, the MOPpers whom I will never forget. Hope to see some of you around!

            Have a nice summer~


June 27, 2012

            Wow, I can't believe MOP is almost over! It went by so fast...and yet somehow the time I wasn't at MOP seems an eternity ago. It's strange.

            So this morning we had Recurrences and Graph Theory, both of which were really cool! Pretty much all math is really cool. Except geometry, which I'm terrible at. (Actually I'm terrible at pretty much everything...) This afternoon we had a class called Smooth Fudge. We were joking that it should teach us to “fudge” our geometry diagrams using things like the Big Dot Theorem and the Circumpotato of an arbitrary polygon. It turned out to be this technique for solving inequalities though. It was still pretty cool. Overall MOP has been a lot of fun. I've learned so much and I've actually met people who share my passions and don't think I'm crazy for wanting to spend a month of my summer doing math. It's actually past midnight now, so goodnight (morning?)!


Oh, and Miss "I fail at life" congratulations on making top 18 TSTST!!

June 25, 2012

Hello! I guess I started a new page! Also, we skipped the 24th. Darn, we skipped a lot of days. Last year, the journal went around three times, and this entry is like the end of the second time it's gone around this year. Oh wait, Laura is the end of the rounds, never mind. But I'm not going to erase that because I lost my eraser on the third day of MOP. I always lose my erasers. Darn. More depressing things: there are only two days left of MOP. . This is actually an appropriate time to be sad about it, although if we're going to pass the journal to everyone on the last day, I should not write about being sad yet.

            So yeah, MOP was... cool... okay, darn I need a better adjective, but you know what I mean, right? MOP was... darn. The only problem with it is having to get out of bed in the mornings, (or having to get up at all, for that matter) but that's sort of the problem with life. But seriously, I fell asleep in class way more this year than I did last year. What is wrong with me? Okay, I don't actually care.

            So today. TSTST Day 3: Rage. I did not solve #8. How depressing. Apparently I solved the easy part of it, but my write-up for it was still five pages. Hmmm... what is this? Why do I fail at life? (It took me an hour to write too! I am terrible at writing up solutions. Darn.)

            But I solved #7 SYNTHETICALLY! YAY! Wait... how do you spell that... is it syntheticly or synthetically? Syntheticly looks weird, but I'm pretty sure you don't say synthetical. Weird. Anyway, yes #7 was geo. There was a lot of geo and not very much combo on TSTST. I don't know what to think of that. I should probably be happy because the geo was quite bashable. But that doesn't matter because I don't think 5 problems is enough to make the “selection team” this year? I actually have no idea, but it probably isn't. Anyway, I am going to stop thinking about test scores and tanking and all that crap because it is annoying, right? I have more to say about TSTST, but thinking/writing/reading about tests is not fun, and it is rather depressing, and I need to stop writing about depressing things.

            Okay, so today we had classes, TSTST, dinner. After dinner, Victoria and I did math math for a while, then there was study session. And there was no singing troupe but we sang kind of badly for a little while anyway. Oh yeah! Victoria still refuses to sing! Darn it. Even though she obviously can sing. And I can't, And it would probably be better for everyone else if I didn't, but I'm not that considerate, so there's no reason for her to not sing for the sake of everyone else either. And I'm pretty sure no one would mind.

            Also, Alicia wrote: “I hear Meghal singing really loudly in an Indian accent.” Wait, What? I do not know of this, and I can't really imagine this. Whoa. Hmmm...darn we could not make Meghal do singing Troupe either .

            And I am really bad at spelling. In case, you were wondering. I realize that everytime I write in the journal because I keep thinking a lot of words look wrong. Darn. Bye!


June 25, 2012

Hi! This is Jingyi. I don't understand how Alicia wrote so much! 4 PAGES!!! I should have written yesterday, but I forgot, so I decided to make it up this morning, when I found cheater Alicia still writing the journal. So I'm writing now. Last Saturday was our only free day in MOP (not actually; there was a seminar) We went to Lazer Quest and it was so much fun. We can choose our codenames, and my name was Coordinate Bash! We also had Danielle, Trig Bash, Laura, Complex Bash, Courtney, Vector Bash, and Meghal, Berry Bash! Let's Bash. Maybe it's a coincidence, but on TSTST on Sunday, I solved the geometry problem by coordinate bash, and Danielle solved it by Trig Bash. Today is Monday, the last week of MOP.  and TSTST day 3 is tomorrow. . We visited AMC Office today. It's a small building, but it has a great effect on many, many people.

A reminder for MOPpers next year (about rec center):

1.      The pass is $20 for 5 passes. NO REFUNDMENT. Darn.

2.      If you want to play tennis, there is a free court outside, and no court inside the rec center. You have to buy a pass to rent the racquet, but you can buy a racquet for $20. Darn.

3.      If you want to play ping-pong, there is a table downstairs. The paddles in the rec center are... Darn.

4.      If you want to climb wall, you can only try it for free once. After that you have to pay for them. Darn.

5.      When you should buy a pass to rec center: play badminton (bring your own racquet; the racquets here are... well, better than the ping-pong paddles, but you have to pay for it.) play basketball, swim (although you probably don't have time to swim).

6.      If you want to SLEEP, go to your dorm. The ping-pong table is not comfortable at all. Danielle and I tried today.

            Laura will grow up some day, when she can appreciate the beauty of geometry (especially coordinate bash) and the beauty of 10th power of complex numbers. Maybe I will be an instructor here when Laura is in 11th or 12th grade. If I can, I will teach her how to coordinate bash beautifully. (Although she may hate me.) I'm going to bed now. Good night.


June 23, 2012

            Good morning, world! Well, it's actually 18 minutes before morning, and by then it will be the 24th. Nooooo this is the last weekend of MOP. This makes me really sad, but I think I will take Victoria's advice of taking my advice not to be sad yet. Thanks, Victoria!

             So anyway, hmm... TSTST day 1.. I solved three problems, none of which were actually on the test. Oopsies.

            Today we walked four miles to laser tag, which I am quite horrible at, but which was fun anyway. I think the walking was actually the most fun part, though. And tomato mozzarella sandwiches are yummy.

            I felt like I had so much to say when I started writing, but now I can't remember any of it. There's too much amazingness to write with a short entry anyway... So I guess this will turn out to be a boring entry. My apologies!

            Bouncy balls are awesome.

            And so is MOP in general.

            To all the people whom I share this journal with: you are all amazing! And the same to the other people I share all my experiences at MOP with, and I guess just to everyone I share my life with, except Jingyi

            Before MOP is over, we must watch at least one Disney movie together, because Courtney and Danielle have seen none. What deprived childhoods the must have had! I think they must have lived under rocks their whole lives. Under David Yangs. That is kind of weird. Oh no, my pencil is dying.        Yay! I sharpened it. Pencil sharpeners are magical. But I almost always use pens now, and so I never actually get to sharpen pencils. Maybe I should use pencils more just so I can sharpen them. And this was not off-topic at all.

            I think the hallway has become my favorite place to do math or write or just stand for no reasons. Late at night, I can still hear the other girls' voices everywhere, shame on them, they should be sleeping! In particular I hear Meghal singing really loudly in an Indian accent. How lovely. And in the early morning, it is so peacefully quiet out here. Especially on the weekend, when most of MOP isn't awake until noon.

            I think I should sleep soon anyway, to get up early tomorrow morning to play a game of Mao with someone I promised to play with a while ago and never quite got to... Sorry Owen!

            I have “I'm a rock” stuck in my head. Darn it, Evan, why is your song so amazing? Mm speaking of (or not of) yogurt, I want some of that. I can't wait till we get some of that “sour milk” when we go to China. Oh right, Cynthia and I have compiled a list of food we need to eat when we're in China:

1.      LYCHEE!!

2.      yogurt

3.      TOFU

4.      Hm, nevermind, I forgot the rest of it. These three were the most important anyway.

            Darn it. Despite all the random thoughts running through my head, I can't quite distract myself from the fact that there are only five more days of MOP. I guess we'll just have to make the most of them!

            Okay, I wrote too much. I guess this will be all. Sorry for the randomness! Good night/morning/evening/afternoon/banana/twilight/dawn/midnight/noon!



PS: It is now the next morning, and the words “good morning! It is 4AM ! * poke * Good morning, it is now 5AM! Hi! It's 7AM!” have magically appeared on our door. Hmm, I wonder who that might be... why were you not sleeping? Good morning to you, too! It is now 7:14 AM.

PPS: Also to Alison and Jenny and Maria, none of whom I got to say goodbye to in person... goodbye! Farewell! I hope you all are having fun and eating yummy fruit, wherever you are now. I know I will see Jenny again soon, but I hope I see you again, too Alison and Maria. Also, Alison, it was awfully inconsiderate of you not to say goodbye in person and just leave a goodbye note on your name thing. But don't worry, I will spam you with emails.

June 22, 2012

            Fine, it's 6/21/12, but that's besides the point. I'm sort of disappointed that I'm not on the CGMO team, but I guess it's okay, because my grandparents are visiting that week, and I get to see them more this way.

            I really hope the TSTST has interesting problems. I'm not going to get any, so I may as well have interesting problems to think about for four and a half hours. So anyway, I'll continue this entry when it's actually the 22nd, and write about the TSTST.

            Well, we still haven't taken the TSTST yet (it's lunch break), but I felt like writing anyway. SO I left lunch for three reasons. I was done eating and didn't want the desserts to tempt me, I left my pencil in my room, and I needed to decrease Owen's ratio. Owen's ratio is basically the ratio of girls to boys he is sitting next to. By leaving, Jingyi and I decreased this ratio. I feel so accomplished. :) Anyway, I'm done for now; I'll write more after the TSTST.

            Okay, so the TSTST Day 1 is over. So hard!! Bleh. Oh well. I partially solved 1... if that counts.


June 21, 2012

            I feel like, if MOP had an official motto, it would be “darn!”. Everybody (at least in red) seems to say “darn!” all the time. Especially, Courtney, haha. Anyway, MOPpers seem to see every possible setting as an opportunity to say “darn”. Whether we're in classs, playing badminton, frisbee, running to class, or at lunch. It's sort of contagious. I've started saying “darn”, every other word, also...

            Today we had a really cool class in quadratic equations. It was so interesting; usually it seems like all you have to do to solve algebra problems is blindly try random things until you find the solution, but for these problems you really had to think about the conditions and properties of the equations and how to apply them. Tomorrow, we all have to take TSTST day 1. It sounds like it's supposed to be insanely hard. Oh well. I hope I can get a problem! (This will happen only if the TSTST people decide to be nice and give us an easy inequality.


June 20, 2012

            So today I woke up at 8:29, even though classes start at 8:30. Whoops. Cynthia even set an alarm for me, but I turned it off to sleep an extra 2 minutes. But I never got up, and it was only when Meghal knocked on my door, did I wake up. So I ran to class and got there within 7 minutes of getting out of bed. I will wake up earlier tomorrow.

            Right now Gabby's playing the violin. She's pretty good...makes me feel like I should practice cello more. I didn't bring my cello to MOP. Darn. Instead I randomly grabbed a recorder from my house at the last minute.

            I've played badminton twice at MOP so far, and both times have been really fun but tiring. The second time we played for 3 hours straight. And now there's a big blister on my foot. Oh well, it was worth it. We had our 5th (and last) MOP test today, which I failed. I solved #3, and then spent the rest of the time working on #4, which I didn't get. Apparently #1 was easy, but I didn't even try it because it looked hard. Darn. I hope I won't fail CGMO.

            The classes have been pretty interesting so far. I particularly like game theory/combinatorics/graph theory because the problems are all really interesting and have really neat solutions. Except I usually can't find them. Darn.

            Oh and notice how “darn” occurs pretty frequently. In this journal....and in MOP in general.


June 18, 2012

            Hello World! I feel obligated to make a reference to the previous journal entry because the past two people did so. However, they both commented on self-disparaging remarks which I cannot do because Victoria, being an amazing, self-confident, hardworking individual, did not make any such comments.

            ...okay, so to what I did today. I didn't wake up early enough to go to breakfast, which made me sad. In fact, I was still in the room when Courtney, my roommate, woke up, so that's record late! Despite, I was still kind of sleepy. I need to sleep so much more at MOP because each class requires so much focus and hard thinking! Anyways, although I was sleepy, I could still see that Razvan's class on quadratic equations was really cool! The problems were all really neat. The other topics were generating functions, and combinatiorial geometry, which I like despite my failure to solve problems.

            Hmmmm. I think my paragraph breaks are not optimally positioned....Oh! One last thing before I sleep! After singing troupe, Victoria and Alicia and Meghal and I went on an adventure to find our roommates, all of whom were missing. It turns out that they were singing in the Piper Pit, which is a really really random and obscure location! But at least they weren't having a sleepover without us as we first hypothesized. Well, Courtney's already in bed, so I should go too. Bye!

-Cynthia >^.^<

June 18, 2012

            Wow these journal entries are hilarious. Laura writes “if I even make it back” with reference to MOP next year. It's hilarious because she's only a sixth-grader and already one of the brightest people here (which says a lot seeing as everyone here is bright!). You have nothing to worry about, Laura.

            So today the other girls literally dragged me to Singing Troupe in an attempt to get me to sing. In all honesty though I'm pretty sure I'm doing them all a favor by not singing; it spares a few pairs of ears. Most of the songs they're singing are really nice though, so I enjoy sitting around. Haha.

            I've been losing track of dates lately, so it's a good thing writing in the journal allowed me to figure out the date. I can't believe MOP is already half over; I feel like it's only hardly been a week. Just like last year my favorite part of the whole experience is the people here. Everyone is just so amazing that I really can't explain it. I'm going to miss everyone so much when MOP ends. I think I should really take Alicia's advice and save the sadness for later. Thanks Alicia! Also, I get to see the girls (except Meghal ) at CGMO in August. Yay!

            So Danielle and I stayed up really late last night because we got caught up in a really clever solution to a mock IMO problem. I should probably sleep earlier today. So that's all for now. Good night ~!


            P.S. While sitting and writing this, I may have overheard team leaders discussing preliminary ELMO results. Alicia, I believe you did really well. Congrats!

June 17, 2012

            Hi! I'm horrible at writing, but oh well. So anyway our MOP handbook reads, “Sundays are free days except for voluntary activities and an occasional Sunday evening guest speaker.” So much for that. This morning we had ELMO from 8:00AM-12:30PM. ELMO is basically this USAMO/IMO style exam organized by MOPpers and taken by first time MOPpers. I have no idea what ELMO originally stood for but every year the returning MOPpers came up with something new for it; this year it was “Every little mistake => 0”. The problems were actually pretty good even though I sort of failed the test.  I solved one problem in about 1.5 hours and spent the remaining 3 hours staying blankly at the other two.

            Overall, though I think MOP is a lot of fun. I've used up nearly my whole notebook (more than I used in the entire school year) and collected enough handouts and problems to last me nearly until MOP next year (if I even make it back). And I've certainly learned a lot of math. I've also learned how little I know and how much there is out there to learn. Plus all the people here are really nice.

            Anyway, it's actually the 18th by now as it's past midnight. So good night (or technically good morning....)!


By the way, Danielle, how do you win Math Prize by being lazy and sucking at everything?

June 16, 2012

            Hi. It is actually 6/15/2012. But whatever. I suck at writing (and everything, but whatever). But I am going to write about today, and then I am not going to do anything with the journal tomorrow. So I woke up this morning at 7:40. My alarm went off before Victoria's even though it used to go off after hers, and I was confused.

            Classes: First we had collinearity and concurrence with Carlos and then Graph Theory with Po Shen. In the afternoon, we had a DE SHAW thing. Which I fell asleep during. Hmm...that was a.....dangling?....preposition, which you're not supposed to have apparently? Darn. So much for staying on topic.

            Afterwards, I did a write-up for the last MOP test (Noo that's my first write-up I've had to do) and then I sat around on the ground doing nothing while other people did math. Because I am lazy. Darn.

            After dinner there was a seminar during which I fell asleep, (Ha! I have good grammar! I think. Maybe not. That would make me sad.) While people around me did geometry. Darn. That's actually pretty bad. (My falling asleep at all the wrong times I mean...)

            And now I'm sitting in the hall way on the basement floor with all the other girls except Victoria and I'm writing in the journal, while everyone else is doing math. Which I should probably be doing too.

            So we have a new journal this year. I'm not sure why. It's probably something to do with losing last year's. This one is colorful! The cover at least. Also, I've noticed this year people are writing more than one entry on a page. Darn. Okay, bye. I'm going to go do a geometry problem.


June 15, 2012

Alicia is such a cheater. So I'm going write something and pass it to Danielle. Today we were busying designing the CGMO T-shirt. I think CGMO can stand for Coordinate bash Geometry Math Olympiad. But other girls disagree. Then I think maybe we can write a sentence with all the girls' initial on the name. It becomes “Jingyi Likes All Crazy Coordinate bash Geometry Very Much. Darn!” which means Jingyi, Laura, Alicia, Cynthia, Courtney, Gabby, Victoria, Meghal, and Danielle. But other girls  disagree with me again... Now I'm going to pass the journal. Bye~


June 14, 2012

            Hello! Okay, I'm cheating, it's actually still the thirteenth right now, but I cant resist not commenting on Jingyi's entry. Wait, technically it is the fourteenth, as it's past midnight.

            But yes, I AM the BESTIEST, AWESOMEST roommate EVER. It's not often you get a roommate who has the amazing ability of attracting hundreds of fruit flies, Jingyi, so you should really appreciate me more.

            Oh, the test today (yesterday?) was actually pretty fun. I'm actually starting to look forward to the tests we have almost every other day.

            I don't get what Jingyi has against Kaoul, although I know nothing about him and nothing about the phantom, so okay whatever.

            We need to think of a way to punish Meghal for hogging this journal for three whole days! Rawr!

            Oh yeah, for the CGMO t-shirt design, I still think we should do the USSR submarine birthday cake design. Oh right, happy unbirthday Danielle! And uh, to all the rest of you too!

            Wait wait wait, I just read the second-to-last line of what Jingyi said, and I'd just like to say that I'm not mean!! How unfortunate it is that such a nice person like me was stuck with such an evil roommate like her (but actually I secretly really like her being my roommate. Shh, don't tell her!)

            Oh hmmm, I was going to sleep early today. Darndarndarn. I guess I will write more tomorrow (later today) morning....

            Good morning! I woke before six again and couldn't fall back asleep....I have dark circles under my eyes, and Cynthia thought it was a glasses tan, even though I hardly wear my glasses. And Jingyi says I look like a panda. Yay?

            I can't believe MOP is almost halfway over. I feel like I've been here much longer than just tenish? Days, and I wish I could stay much, much longer than these few weeks. But it's too early to be sad about that!

            Besides the bipolar water fountain that I have an epic battle with each night to refill my water bottle, and all the poke ambushes, and having to deal with my evil roommate Jingyi and the evil banana-hating unicorn Cynthia, and the lack of mangoes, I really love it here. All the fears of MOP I had before I came here disappeared. The people here are amazing. And the food, and the math. There's so much amazingness in MOP that I could go on rambling about, but at the moment I really want to figure out a geometry problem that has been bothering me all afternoon...so I'm off! Farewell!

            Oh wait! I forgot! It's Alicia by the way!


June 13, 2012

            We have another test today, and the geometry is so hard this time. I messed it up. Singing troupe is still so much fun. I fall in love with The Phantom of the Opera and feel bad that Christina and Rauol are together at the end. CGMO team is decided. One person was cut, but actually every girl in MOP deserves it. Alicia and I will pretend like nothing has happened. We don't know what CGMO is and all we are going to do is to study math hard and enjoy MOP. Oh! Alicia is my roommate, and she always said that she is is the best roommate in the world. Everyday we want to go to bed earlier, but it never works. Now it's 12:20, (I just asked Alicia what time it is and she said it's time to get a watch. She's mean). Good night. My angle~


June 12, 2012

            So we had classes. The number theory stuff was really cool and useful (If only we had learned that stuff a day before it would have saved me an hour on the MOP test yesterday and figuring out a way around that stuff). They were a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I feel like I'm getting so much better at math. It's also so fun meeting people with the same interests as me.

            Oh yeah. So we played a game of Mao today (or yesterday, I'm not sure). It was AWESOME. Basically, it's a card game where we have to add rules and everyone keeps getting penalized until they find them out and stop violating them. So there were like 5 rules in the game so it was such an annoyance to check for all of them every time. Oh yeah, so two of the rules in the game were almost the same. Neither of the creators of both rules realized they had almost the same rule in the game. Lol. But eventually I realized that and we all laughed that nobody had figured that out yet.

            So yeah. MOP is like the best experience ever. I'm getting so much better at math and also having a ton of fun. Everyone is so nice here. I'm sorta tired, so that's it for today.


June 9, 2012

            Today was a really fun Saturday, even though it didn't feel like a Saturday at all...more like a Friday. Anyway, today I finally managed to get to breakfast with time to eat before running to my first class of the day (INEQUALITIES! YAY!) where we played Ali's game again. Luckily, we won, so we don't have to do any write-ups. After that, we had a session on number theory, which I don't hate quite as much as I used to. It was actually pretty hilarious because most of the first problems on the sheet were actually pretty simple, but because none of us realized that, we spent a long time solving some pretty simple problems.

            After lunch we had no classes, so I played frisbee with Alicia, Meghal, Courtney, Danielle, Laura, and Jingyi! I still really fail at frisbee though....

            When we got back to the dorm, I got pulled into a huge game of Mao, which was really entertaining. I ended up playing for a while, until Owen pointed out that the game had been going on for more than two hours.

            Somehow I'm really tired now even though I got nothing done today (everybody except Meghal and I is at Singing Troupe right now, but I was too tired )


June 8, 2012

            Today, I solved my first geometry problem at MOP! In fact, I solved two of them. Anyways I suck at geo so it's good enough for me.

            MOP is fun. We've done so many problems, and yet we still have many more left to do since we get them on handouts full of problems every class.

            Well I can never write much in journals and I should be working on more problems, so that'll be it for today.


Oh and Cynthia the date was the 7th yesterday, not the 8th.

June 8, 2012

            I'm not quite sure if I have the right date, but in any case, it's the first Thursday of MOP! Today we started with class with Ali, which was awesome both because he made it into a type of game, and also because for the first time ever I was able to solve multiple inequalities! I must have improved (although the handout could just be easier, but let's not think about it...) Next, we had induction with Po-Ru. Who is extra nice and awesome. Again I made significant progress, which was really really happy! We also had our first test today, as well as study session with Allison, who is very smart and helpful! Yay!

            Oh, and today I also took a picture of Albert Gu holding his Yoshi while wearing the Yoshi t-shirt that Julia and I bought him. It was very cute. I also pieced together a list of new MOPpers with Julia's help, so I'm ready for the ELMO meeting tomorrow! Oh oh oh, and Laura is a genius! She explained how to do one of the team contest problems to us and it was very clever. Well, I think I'm going to sleep now. Good night!


June 6, 2012

            The first day in the journal and also DANILLE'S BIRTHDAY! At first I was disappointed that we didn't have an organized birthday celebration like last year, but then half an hour before evening study session, Alex came up with the brilliant idea of buying her a cake ourselves! Sadly there aren't any cake stores on campus here, so instead we frantically rushed to a gas station on the edge of campus and picked up a few chocolate cupcakes for Danielle (and ourselves), and also a chocolate bar for the CGMO girls. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DANIELLE!

            As for MOP itself, I think things are settling in pretty well. The place looks exactly the same (with only a few pieces of furniture rearranged), yet it feels completely different. I already like all of the girls here a lot, but I also miss all the girls from last year who aren't here again. My best wishes to all of you, wherever you are!