Sophomore competes overseas for U.S. Math Team

March 29, 2018 — by Jeffrey Xu and Michael Zhang

The contest was held at a government-funded high school in Bucharest, Romania, where participating students lived in dormitories.

Sophomore Brandon Wang was one of four students to power the U.S. national team to place first among 20 participating countries at the Romanian Masters of Mathematics competition from Feb. 21-26.

Wang also earned a silver medal for his individual performance. The competition itself ran for two days, with a four-and-a-half hour, three-problem exam being administered on each.

“I was very surprised,” Wang said. “After the test I was expecting a bronze just from historical cutoffs so I think I was pretty lucky to get a silver to be honest.”

The contest was held at a government-funded high school in Bucharest, Romania, where participating students lived in dormitories.

Having been selected to the prestigious Math Olympiad Summer Program (MOP) last year, Wang had been invited to take Team Selection Tests (TST) in December and January in order to qualify himself for participation in the contest. The U.S. selected its four-person team from the top performers on the TST’s who have not had international competition experience in order to scout prospective candidates for the U.S. team that will be attending the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in July.

Wang attributed most of his success at the competition to problems he has solved in the past.

“A lot of my time spent preparing was from last year, before the TST’s, and especially during the summer at MOP where I basically did math for the whole day for several weeks,” he said.

Additionally, Wang and his teammates were able to visit tourist attractions in Bucharest during their free time.

According to Wang, they saw some of Bucharest’s famous buildings in the winter snow, which resulted them in taking Ubers instead of walking. He said the team also dined at restaurants on a daily basis, given the subpar cafeteria food, which also enhanced his overall experience overseas.

Although Wang had not performed as well as he had initially hoped, he believes that attending Romanian Masters of Mathematics was a meaningful learning experience.

“Overall, it was quite fun. It feels a bit different to have to travel that far to do math, so I now know what to do if I’m going to go that far again,” Wang said.

 
3 views this week