Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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

IMSA Graduate Jenny Iglesias '08 Wins Gold Medal at Mathematical Olympiad

AURORA-- For the second consecutive year, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Class of 2008 graduate Jenny Iglesias of Aurora was one of only eight young women selected to compete on the U.S. team in the China Girls Mathematical Olympiad.  

Jenny Iglesias (second from right) stands with the award-winning United States team that competed in the China Girls Mathematical Olympiad.

This year, Jenny brought home a gold medal in the 2008 competition.  In total, the U.S. team received two gold, one silver and five bronze medals in the 2008 China Girls Mathematical Olympiad (CGMO).  Jenny, who was the only team member from the Midwest, also was chosen to compete for the U.S. in 2007 on its inaugural team.  

Jenny, who currently attends Harvey Mudd College in California, said winning a gold medal for the United States in mathematics was an "amazing" event in her life which she hopes other females who are interested in mathematics will aspire to.

"I think the CGMO is a good idea because it gives girls a chance to compete (in mathematics) at a very high level," Iglesias said.  "It encourages girls to work harder because they have a goal they can reach."  

IMSA President Dr. Max McGee said Jenny is a wonderful role model for females who want to pursue science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields in college and beyond.  

"Not only is Jenny a role model for IMSA students, she is also a trailblazer for the next generation of females throughout the country who want to start breaking stereotypes and begin making significant contributions in male-dominated STEM fields,"  McGee said.  "We are proud that her IMSA education provided her with the challenges she needed in order to reach her next extraordinary level of achievement."

The girls were selected for the team based on their performance on the USAMO (United States Mathematical Olympiad).  To prepare for the contest, Jenny and the other team members spent three weeks at the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program at the University of Nebraska to help them develop their problem-solving skills and prepare for the rigor of international competition.

The inaugural U.S. girls team captured media attention around the globe and as a result, Jenny was featured on National Public Radio's program Talk of the Nation:  Science Friday.  The subject of the program was Girls, Women, Math:  How Do They Add Up?

The internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12) in its advanced, residential college preparatory program, and it serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry. IMSA also advances education through research, groundbreaking ventures and strategic partnerships. (