Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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

IMSA Receives Highest Ranking in World Contest; Mathematical Models Address National Debt and Air Pollution

One team from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) received the highest ranking possible in the 11th annual international High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM). Their performance placed IMSA among the top four schools in the world in this year’s competition.

The IMSA team including Jessica Durden of Lake Barrington, Bohao Liu of Schaumburg and Ilya Nepomnyashchiy and Justin Troyka of Carol Stream received the rank of “National Outstanding”.  Only four teams out of 270 that competed worldwide received this ranking.  A second IMSA team including Cameron Breedlove of Canton, Alex Drummond of Quincy, Adam Leemans of Port Byron and Mike Reeks of Tinley Park received the rank of “Regional Outstanding.” 

The High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling is a 36-hour contest where each team is expected to solve a mathematical modeling problem.  Each team then prepares and submits a paper discussing their solution to the problem. 

IMSA’s “National Outstanding” team had to build a mathematical model that could be used to help understand the national debt and make forecasts based on different scenarios.   In addition, the students had to use their model to compare at least two alternative plans for the years 2009-2017 based on different tax and spending policies.  Finally, they also had to draft a letter to President Barack Obama advising him of IMSA’s model.  

IMSA’s “Regional Outstanding” team had to create a mathematical model to show the feasibility, effectiveness and costs of increasing carbon dioxide consumption in the U.S. to try to achieve national carbon “neutrality” with minimal economic and cultural impact.  In addition, the team had to prepare a short summary paper for the U.S. Congress to try to persuade them to adopt the plan.

Outstanding teams will have their solution papers (or their solution abstracts) published in COMAP’s Consorrt newsletter among other places.  More information on the contest can be found at

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. (