U.S. team leaders announced the six students from across the country who will represent the United States at the 49th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Madrid. The students completed the third part of the IMO Team Selection Test on Friday, June 13.
The 2008 U.S. IMO team is:
Paul Christiano, The Harker School, San Jose, California.
Christiano was born and lives in San Jose. He spends most of his time playing piano, programming, or learning and doing mathematics and computer science. His interest in mathematics significantly predates his ability to form long-term memories, so he can't hope to explain its origin, but he credits his high school teachers and especially his parents with encouraging him to pursue that interest. Next fall, he will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Shaunak Kishore, Unionville High School, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Kishore plans to study applied mathematics, possibly biology or economics. He won the Princeton Mathematics Contest this year and presented at the Young Epidemiology Scholars national convention on the spread of tuberculosis. In his free time, he enjoys running track, and playing Frisbee and video games. Kishore will plans to attend MIT this fall.
Evan O’Dorney, Berkeley Math Circle, Berkeley, California.
O’Dorney’s passions are music and math. In his spare time, Evan improvises at the piano, juggles, and invents board games. He likes doing taekwondo with his friends. Evan triumphed at the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee after two years of intensely studying the dictionary. Evan especially enjoys solving and making up math problems. For the past year, he has created problems used in monthly contests at the Berkeley Math Circle.
The 2008 USAMO winners pose for pictures around the Albert Einstein Memorial Statue outside of the National Academy of Sciences. From left to right - Front: Evan O'Dorney*, Paul Christiano*, and Tao Ran Chen. Middle: Alex Zhai*, QinXuan Pan, Delong Meng. Back: David Benjamin, Sam Elder, Shaunak Kishore*, Krishanu Sankar*, David Rolnick, Colin Sandon*. (* denotes IMO team member)
Colin Sandon, Essex High School, Essex Junction Vermont.
Sandon is a National Merit Finalist, a Siemens AP scholar, and a 2007 U.S. Physics Olympiad semi-finalist. He led his high school’s team to an undefeated 2008 season in the Vermont Math League and was a member of the 2007 Vermont State champion chess team. He enjoys computer programming, playing chess and go, and reading fantasy and science fiction. Sandon will be attending MIT in the fall.
Krishanu Sankar, Horace Mann School, Riverdale, New York.
A USAMO winner in 2007, he was also invited to attend the Physics Olympiad camp. He credits his parents and brother for encouraging him, as well as his math teacher, Christopher Jones. Sankar has been studying violin for seven years, is a brown belt in karate, and enjoys playing frisbee and video games. Sankar will be attending MIT this fall.
Alex Zhai, University Laboratory High School, Urbana, Illinois.
This will be Zhai’s third consecutive trip to the IMO. He earned a silver medal in Slovenia in 2006, and a gold medal at last year’s IMO in Vietnam. He has received the National Latin Exam gold award during all four years of high school. In his free time, he plays chess and soccer, loves to read, and “learning unusual skills of limited utility.” Zhai will be attending Harvard this fall.
The students will take part in the rigorous Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MOSP) at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln before heading to Spain on July 10.