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High School Problem Solvers Seeking Perfection in Math Contest

Friday, November 11, 2016
Math Competition

Attempting New Title: Last year's sophomore-grade team champions, Park Tudor High School students (from left) Allen Zhao, Andrew Wu, Alex Gu and Michelle Shen, are returning to participate in the junior-class grade. Each student had a perfect 100-point score in the 2015 contest.

Some of the Midwest's top high-school problem solvers will showcase their math skills on Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Rose-Hulman High School Mathematics Competition. Nearly 450 students from 25 schools are expected to participate in the event, celebrating its 51st year-making it one of the nation's longest-running high school math contests.

Award winners in the competition-many of them already celebrated as MATHCOUNTS competition individual national champions in middle school-have gone on to be named Indiana's Mr./Miss Math or Mr./Miss Science, named to the USA Today All-USA High School Academic Team, or appointed members of the U.S. team in the International Mathematics Olympiad.

The event has become one of the Midwest's largest academic competitions, with exams also administered this fall in Cincinnati and St. Louis for area high schools.

Carmel High School is the defending school champion and has captured top honors for the past seven years. Competition will come this year from schools in the following areas:

Central Indiana: Carmel, Covenant Christian, Fishers, Hamilton Southeastern, Lutheran, Park Tudor, Westfield and Zionsville.

Wabash Valley: Terre Haute South, Terre Haute North, Terre Haute Christian Home Educators, West Vigo and South Vermillion.

Evansville: Castle, New Tech Institute and Signature.

Other Indiana: Harrison (Lafayette), Hauser (Hope), Lakeland (LaGrange), Marion and Milan.

Champaign, Illinois: Central, Saint Thomas More and Urbana.

Twelve students are returning to defend last year's grade group titles, after achieving perfect 100-point test scores last fall. This group includes seniors Agustin Garcia of Lafayette's Harrison High School, Caleb He and Anthony Ji of Carmel, and Neil Thompson of Zionsville High School; juniors Alex Gu, Michelle Shen, Andrew Wu and Allen Zhao, all of Park Tudor School; and sophomores Joey Heerens and Kevin Liu of Carmel, and Ethan Kirsch of Terre Haute South High School.

Competitors have one hour to answer 20 questions covering a wide range of mathematics categories. Awards are given at individual and school levels for all four grade levels.

A perfect 100-point score is a rare achievement for students in this challenging competition, according to mathematics professor John Rickert. He helps organize the event for Rose-Hulman's Department of Mathematics and developed this year's test questions.