Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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IMSA Receives Highest Ranking in World Contest; Mathematical Models Address National Water Strategy and Tsunamis

Two teams from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) received the highest ranking possible in the 12th annual international High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM).  Their performance placed IMSA among the top eight schools in the world in this year’s competition.

IMSA placed among the top eight schools in the world in the 12th annual international High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM). 

The two IMSA teams including Paul Chung of Barrington, Derek Hardin of Morton Grove, Bonny Jain of Moline, Seohyun (Chris) Kim of Schaumburg, Vladislav Kontsevoi of  Evanston, Andrew Lee of  Darien, Sid Narayanan of  Dunlap and Yanchen (Jack) Shi of Dunlap both received the rank of “National Outstanding”. Only eight teams out of 277 that competed worldwide received this ranking.  A third IMSA team including sophomores Webster Guan of  Lisle, Peter Lu of Lisle, Nolan Maloney of Naperville and Stanley Yuan of Naperville received the rank of “Regional Outstanding.” 

Although international studies generally place the United States in the middle of the pack compared to other countries, IMSA President Dr. Max McGee noted that IMSA's students have proven to be among the best in the world, in international competitions.

"For the fifth consecutive year, IMSA's math teams have received the highest ranking possible in this international event showcasing how mathematics can be used to solve some of the world's most challenging scientific, economic and social problems," McGee said.  "IMSA students and coaches, both past and present, are to be commended for this amazing achievement."

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 first “National Outstanding” team had to build a mathematical model to devise an effective, feasible, and cost-efficient national water strategy for 2010 to meet the projected needs of the United Stated in 2025.  In particular, the model had to address storage and movement, de-salinization and conservation as some of the possible components of the strategy while considering the economic, physical, cultural and environmental effects.  Students then had to provide a position paper for the United States Congress outlining their approach, its costs and why it is the best choice for the nation.

IMSA’s second “National Outstanding” team had to create a mathematical model to compare the devastation of various-sized earthquakes and their resulting tsunamis on the following cities:  Boston, MA; Charleston, SC; Hilo, HI;  New Orleans, LA;  New York, NY; and San Francisco, CA.  Students then had to prepare an article for the local newspaper that explained what was discovered in the model about one of those cities.  

Outstanding teams will have their solution papers (or their solution abstracts) published in COMAP’s Consortium 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. (

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