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Lexington teen headed to China for math competition

Lexington — Elizabeth Synge of Lexington will be part of a team of eight female high school students selected by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) to represent the United States at the 2010 China Girls Mathematical Olympiad (CGMO).

The team was chosen from the top ranks of the female finalists in the 2010 USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO). This is the second time Synge, a silver medalist at the 2009 CGMO, will compete as part of the MSRI team in China. She is a senior at Boston University Academy.

"MSRI is proud to support the U.S. team of exceptional young women who will compete at the 2010 CGMO," said MSRI Director Robert Bryant. "It is important for our country to develop their mathematical talent, and participation at such rigorous competitions on an international level enhances their problem-solving skills while providing a springboard for each young woman to further achievements and scientific aspirations."

The team is coached by Zuming Feng, a math teacher on the faculty of Phillips Exeter Academy, leader of the USA International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) team, and director of the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MOSP) since 2003. Assistant coaches are Inna Zakharevich, who scored in the top 12 at the 2002 USAMO and is currently a graduate student at MIT, and Sherry Gong, a student at Harvard University and a member of the 2007 USA IMO team and the 2007 CGMO team — she was a gold medalist and tied for first place in the overall standings.

The international competition will be held from Monday, Aug. 9 through Friday, Aug. 13 in Shijiazhuang, China, the capital of Hebei Provence, about 40 miles southwest of Beijing.

Team members will write an online travelogue with photos to capture and share highlights from their trip to the CGMO. To follow the team’s progress, visit www.msri.org/specials/gmo/2010.