Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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IMSA Junior Takes 1st Place in International Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament

IMSA Junior James Tao of Hoffman Estates took 1st place in the prestigious Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament held recently, competing against 1,000 of the top high school mathematics students in the nation and China.

IMSA President Dr. Max McGee said this is an amazing achievement, especially since Tao competed with the top mathematics students across the country and China.

“This is outstanding!  While IMSA has been competing in this prestigious tournament for the past several years, no other IMSA student before James ever placed first in the nation,” Dr. McGee said.  “James, the other eight IMSA team members and the IMSA mathematics coaches are to be commended for their diligent preparation and their top national results!”

In the tournament, students compete in three individual events (Algebra, Combinatorics and Geometry) and two team events.  Tao places 1st overall for an individual and IMSA placed 15th overall as a team.  IMSA Mathematics Faculty Members Dr. Steve Condie and Dr. Michael Keyton coach the IMSA team and said they are very proud of their hard work and dedication.  In addition, they said it is very gratifying to see the “friendly rivalries” that develop among competitors.

“It is very rewarding working with these talented young people,” said Dr. Condie.  “It is amazing to see 1000 talented math students from around the world competing against each other,” he added. “Many of these students know each other from summer camps and other competitions and have friendly rivalries and clearly respect one another.”

IMSA team members included:

Juniors: Taylor Herr, Abhishek Sethi, and  Evan Li (Naperville), Kevin He (Glen Ellyn), James Tao (Hoffman Estates), Saurabh Kumar (Palatine)

Sophomores: Emily Mu (Naperville) and Ka Wai (Joanne) Lee (Rolling Meadows)

Alternate: Advitheey Chelikani (Palatine)

The Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament is run by undergraduate students at Harvard and MIT, including IMSA alumni Adam Kalinich and Peter Lu who each competed with the IMSA team for three years.

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