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U.S. students win Math Olympiad

The United States outpointed China for the victory, its first since 1994.

By
Ed Adamczyk
Po-Shen Loh, head coach of the winning U.S. International Math Olympiad team. Photo courtesy of Carnegie-Mellon University.
Po-Shen Loh, head coach of the winning U.S. International Math Olympiad team. Photo courtesy of Carnegie-Mellon University.

CHANG MAI , Thailand, July 17 (UPI) -- A team from the United States won the International Math Olympiad Friday, a surprise win for a country lagging in global math and science ratings.

The United States last won the annual competition, this year held in Chang Mai, Thailand, in 1994.

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"This is a huge deal. This is a matter of national pride. One reason we are super excited is that for the past five years or so, we've been consistently second or third. It's actually quite difficult to win. We are going up against a natural population disadvantage in the sense that China, which is the usual winner, has four times as many people. Finally, to topple a country that should beat us by all expectations is a fantastic achievement for these six students," U.S. head coach and Carnegie-Mellon University professor {link:Po-Shen Loh told the Washington Post. : "http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/07/17/winning-formula-usa-tops-international-math-olympiad-for-first-time-in-21-years/" target="_blank"}

Points were scored by team members solving problems individually, three problems simultaneously in 4.5-hour sessions held over two days. The United States outpointed China by 185 to 181 to win what is considered the "mathematics World Cup." South Korea was third.

The competition included 570 secondary-school-age students from 104 countries, and involved no calculators.

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Gold medals were awarded to five U.S. competitors: Ryan Alweiss, Allen Liu, Yang Liu, Shyam Narayanan and David Stoner. Team member Michael Kural missed gold by a single point and earned a silver medal.

The team also received congratulations from President Barack Obama.

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