Middle school students shine at 32nd Colorado Mathematical Olympiad

For the first time in the 32-year history of the Colorado Mathematical Olympiad, a middle school girl earned first prize in the competition.

Sara Gao, grade 8, from Campus Middle School in Englewood  became the first female to earn first prize.
Sara Gao, grade 8, from Campus Middle School in Englewood became the first female to earn first prize.

Sara Gao, grade 8, from Campus Middle School in Englewood was one of four first prize winners of the April 24 competition that brought 328 middle and high school students from throughout Colorado and from an Alabama school to UCCS. She became the first female to earn first prize. Award winners were announced at a May 1 ceremony.

Other first prize winners were:

  • Hongyi Chen, grade 9, Altona Middle School, Longmont
  • Rodion Kosmin, grade 12, Castle View High School, Castle Rock. Kosman is visiting from Ukraine.
  • Avi Swartz, grade 10, Cherry Creek High School, Englewood

First prize winners will receive a gold medal, a $500 scholarship to attend any accredited U.S. university, a UCCS Chancellor’s Scholarship, “The Scholar and the State: In Search of Van der Waerden” by Alexander Soifer, a Casio graphing calculator, and a Wolfram Research software Mathematica.

“Middle school girls and boys have never before achieved so much,” Alexander Soifer, professor, Interdepartmental Studies and CMO director, said. “They competed as equals among the senior high students. This is unprecedented and shows their potential in the years ahead.”

Students from Colorado cities of Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Castle Rock, Centennial, Colorado Springs, Denver, Englewood, Greeley, Greenwood Village, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Lone Tree, Longmont, Monument, Parachute, Superior, and Rangely participated. The competition also drew contestants from Alabama School of Mathematics and Sciences, Mobile, Ala.

The students were offered five problems and four hours to solve them and present complete essay-type solutions.

Second prize winners were:

  • Anjalie Kini, grade 8, Challenge School, Greenwood Village
  • Andrea Lin, grade 9, Fairview High School, Boulder
  • William Shand, grade 11, Discovery Canyon Campus, Colorado Springs

Second prize winners will receive a silver medal, a $1,000 UCCS Chancellor’s Scholarship, “The Colorado Mathematical Olympiad: From the Mountains of Colorado to the Peaks of Mathematics” by Alexander Soifer, a Casio graphing calculator, and a Wolfram Research software Mathematica.

Art by Abbie Hill
Art by Abbie Hill

The third prize winner was:

  • Amy Wang, grade 10, Pine Creek High School, Colorado Springs

She will receive a bronze medal, a $1,000 UCCS Chancellor’s Scholarship; a book from Springer Academic Publishing, a Casio graphing calculator, and a Wolfram Research software Mathematica.

Art award:

  • Abbie Hill, grade 8, Aurora Quest K-8, Aurora

She received a puzzle invented by Erno Rubik, the book “A New Kind of Science,” by Stephen Wolfram, a Casio graphing calculator and Wolfram Research software Mathematica.

Alexander Soifer, Colorado Math Olympiad chair and professor, Interdepartmental Studies, poses with this year's winners
Alexander Soifer, Colorado Math Olympiad chair and professor, Interdepartmental Studies, poses with this year’s winners (from left to right): Rodion Kosmin, William Shand, Hongyi Chen, Avi Swartz, Sarah Gao, Anjalie Kini, Andrea Lin, and Amy Wang.

First honorable mention:

  • Mathew Kang, grade 11, Alabama School of Math and Science, Mobile, Ala.
  • Noah Poirson, grade 12, Alabama School of Math and Science, Mobile, Ala.
  • Austen Mazenko, grade 7, Cherry Creek High School, Greenwood Village
  • Jeremy Schiff, grade 11, Cherry Creek High School, Greenwood Village
  • Isani Singh, grade 9, Cherry Creek High School, Greenwood Village
  • Andrew Jeseritz, Discovery Canyon High School, Colorado Springs
  • Vladimir Zhdanov, Discovery Canyon High School, Colorado Springs
  • Anurag Golla, grade 10, Fairview High School, Boulder
  • Hanna Zhang, grade 9, Fairview High School, Boulder
  • Calvert Bystroff, grade 8, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Colorado Springs
  • Kyle Ma, grade 7, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Colorado Springs
  • Keshav Nambiar, grade 8, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Colorado Springs
  • Varun Roy, grade 8, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Colorado Springs
  • Aurora Ortman, grade 9, Palmer High School, Colorado Springs
  • Orien Sun, grade 9, Palmer High School, Colorado Springs
  • Cynthia Lin, Summit Charter Middle School, Superior
  • George Liu, grade 10, The Classical Academy, Colorado Springs
  • Dylan Morris, grade 12, Liberty High School, Colorado Springs
  • Aaron Lou, grade 10, Highlands Ranch High School, Highlands Ranch
  • Claudia Chen, grade 8, Challenger School, Colorado Springs
  • Owen Newton, Academy Online High School and Eagleview Middle School, Colorado Springs

Honorable mention students will receive the book “A New Kind of Science,” by Stephen Wolfram, a Casio graphing calculator and Wolfram Research software Mathematica.

For details of the competition and to see questions, please visit http://www.uccs.edu/~Olympiad

— Photos by Kathy Griffith, Office of the Chancellor

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