USA Team Excels Again at the International Mathematical Olympiad

Competing against teams representing 81 countries, a team of six American high school students won six medals at the 40th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held in Bucharest, Romania, July 16 and 17, 1999.

The USA team members were chosen from among the participants in the USA Mathematical Olimpiad, whose winners are shown in the photo with MAA officials. From lett to right: Marcia Sward, Executive Director of the MAA, Sasha Schwartz, Stephen E. Haas, Reid W. Barton, Po-Shen Loh, Lawrence O. Detlor, Gabriel D. Carroll, Paul A. Valiant, Melanie Eggers Wood, and Martha Siegel, Secretary of the MAA.

The top 12 teams and their score out of a possible 252 points were:

China (182)
Russia (182)
Vietnam (177)
Romania (173)
Bulgaria (170)
Belarus (167)
Korea (164)
Iran (159)
Taiwan (153)
USA (150)
Hungary (147)
Ukraine (136)
Titu Andreescu, Team USA leader and Director of American Mathematics Competitions, said that "The competition is getting tougher and tougher. There are more and more strong countries. We consider this year's participation a success. Two of our students received a gold medal and the two first time IMO participants on our team received a silver and a bronze medal. It appears that next year's USA IMO team will include four gold medalists, two from 1998 and two from 1999. We will have a stronger team and all six team members will go for the gold."

The team was also accompanied by Kiran Kedlaya from MIT, who was the Deputy of team, Leader and Professor Walter E. Mientka, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who was the Official USA Leader Observer and is the Secretary of the IMO Advisory Board.

The USA team was chosen solely on the basis of the 28th annual USA Mathematical Olympiad held in April of this year. The Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program was held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, June 9 - July 8, 1999.

A representative question which appeared on the 1999 IMO:

Determine all functions f from R to R such that
f(x-f(y)) = f(f(y)) + xf(y) + f(x)-1
for all x and y in R.
The USA Mathematical Olympiad Activities are sponsored by fifteen national associations in the Mathematical sciences with arrangements made by the Mathematical Association of America. Financial and program support is provided by the Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research, Microsoft Corporation, the Matilda R. Wilson Foundation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The 1999 IMO team members:

  1. Reid Barton, Home Schooled, Arlington, MA
    Gold Medalist

  2. Paul Valiant, Milton Academy, Milton, MA
    Gold Medalist

  3. Gabriel Carroll, Oakland Technical High School, Oakland, CA
    Silver Medalist

  4. Po-Shen Loh, James Madison Memorial High School, Madison, WI
    Silver Medalist

  5. Melanie Wood, Park Tudor School, Indianapolis, IN
    Silver Medalist

  6. Lawrence Detlor, St. Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY
    Bronze Medalist

American Mathematics Competitions is a program of the Mathematical Association of American which is sponsored by the following organizations:

American Association of Pension Actuaries
American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges
American Mathematical Society
American Statistical Association
Casualty Actuarial Society
Clay Mathematics Institute
Consortium of Mathematics and its Applications
Mathematical Association of America
National Association of Mathematicians
Mu Alpha Theta
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Pi Mu Epsilon
School Science and Mathematics Association
Society of Actuaries
University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Copyright ©1999 The Mathematical Association of America

MAA Online is edited by Fernando Q. Gouvêa (fqgouvea@colby.edu).
Last modified: Mon Jul 26 09:42:12 -0500 1999