Math Contest Once Again Challenges High School Problem Solvers

Monday, November 06, 2023
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The 57th Rose-Hulman High School Mathematics Competition challenged 9-12 grade students from across Indiana and Illinois with 20 problems in a variety of areas. Carmel High School earned top school honors for the 14th straight year.

High school students from across Indiana and Illinois met the challenge of the 2023 Rose-Hulman High School Mathematics Competition by posting high scores, including four perfect results, in each of the four grade divisions.

Students had one hour to answer 20 problems covering a wide range of mathematics categories, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and number theory. A perfect 100-point score is quite rare.

“We try to offer an appropriate mixture of problems that all students can solve while also offering some problems that really challenge the students—so that we can determine those that are truly the best students each year,” said Mathematics Professor John Rickert, PhD, who helped organize this year’s competition.

Four students had perfect scores in the 57th annual contest: Senior Kevin Hu of Carmel High School and sophomores Jennifer Hu, Allen Qian, and Erica Zhao, all of Carmel. Four other students from the Indianapolis-area school had near-perfect scores. 

Those performances helped Carmel capture top school honors for the 14th consecutive year. Second was Marion (Indiana) High School and Hamilton Southeastern High School (Fishers, Indiana) was third.

This year’s competition attracted more than 200 students from 13 schools. One student from New Jersey also made the trek halfway across the country to participate.

Following Kevin Hu in the senior grade division were classmate Rohan Bhosale, Christine Liu of Terre Haute South, Jonathann Yang and Sandra Yang of Carmel, and Brady Exoo of Terre Haute South. Carmel placed first in the division, followed by Terre Haute South, Marion, and Signature School (Evansville, Indiana).

One point separated Carmel classmates Adam Madni and Michael Qian atop the junior class division. They were followed by Alexander Beloreshki of Milburn High School (New Jersey), Kellen Gong of Carmel and Austin Ferren of Marion. Carmel was first in the class while Signature School was second, Fishers High School was third, and Hamilton Southeastern was fourth.

The perfect scores by Carmel’s Jennifer Hu, Qian, and Zhao led the sophomore class division. They were followed by Indianapolis Park Tudor High School’s Kaitlyn Park and Justin Puno, Carmel’s Hillary Yang and Allison Shen, and Terre Haute North High School’s Christopher Park. Carmel was the top school in the division, followed by Park Tudor, Normal (Illinois) Community High School, and Signature School.

Top freshmen scorers were Carmel’s Edward Chen, Victor Wang, Rithvik Varigonda, and Valerie Fu, along with Alex Li of Signature School. Carmel was the division champion, while Champaign (Illinois) Central High School was second, Terre Haute South was third, and Hamilton Southeastern was fourth. 

All results can be found here.

The annual competition is one of the reasons Rose-Hulman’s Department of Mathematics earned the American Mathematical Society’s award in 2021 for Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department. This honor recognizes a department that “has distinguished itself by undertaking an unusual or particularly effective program of value to the mathematics community, internally or in relation to the rest of society,” according to the AMS award announcement.

Other Mathematics Department faculty and staff members assisting in supervising aspects of this year’s competition were Leanne Holder, PhD, professor of mathematics; Bill Butske, PhD, and Sylvia Carlisle, PhD, both associate professors of mathematics; Kyle Claassen, PhD, assistant professor of mathematics; Katie Lindsey, administrative assistant; and Ralph Grimaldi, professor emeritus. Several students volunteered to help administer, grade, and present awards during the contest.