Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

IMSA Students Place Nationally in Kangaroo Mathematics Competition

By IMSA Mathematics Faculty Member Dr. Vince Matsko

The International Kangaroo Mathematics Competition, the largest of its kind in the world, engaged more than 5,000,000 students in 40 countries.

This was the third year the competition was hosted by IMSA and participation increased 50% from last year to nearly 150 students this year.

Kangaroo is unique - students from grades one through 12 participate, with different exams at different grade levels. The goal is simple: make math fun for students!  Questions are challenging, but accessible enough that students of all abilities can enjoy success at problem-solving.  For examples of problems from the exams visit

The 2011 Illinois Awards Ceremony was held on Saturday, May 14 at the Hyatt  in Lisle, IL.  Dr. Vince Matsko, who introduced the Kangaroo competition to IMSA in 2009, was the emcee for the event.

"I really was an ambassador from IMSA," said Dr. Matsko.  "I had many parents approach me to ask about their children attending IMSA," he added. Matsko emphasized that participation was just as important as winning, and encouraged participants to invite their friends to take the Kangaroo exam next year.

IMSA students received awards at the state and national levels including Corinne Madsen, who won a $1000 scholarship for placing second (state and national at Level 12); Brian Chen who won a trip to a mathematics summer camp to Zakopane, Poland this summer after finishing first at the state level and third nationally (Level 10); and Megan Chen placed first in the state and nationally (Level 11).

Other student winners are listed here.

"I was very pleased to see our students do so well," said Matsko, who hopes to see even more student participants next year.

Interested students and parents may go to the Kangaroo web site for more information.  Registration for the 2012 contest should begin in September.  

For more information, please contact Dr. Matsko at