SJA Students Excel In Interstellar Math Madness Competition


St. Johnsbury Academy math students participate in the Interstellar Math Madness competition recently.

The St. Johnsbury Academy Math Club was recently invited to compete in a new nationwide mathematics competition, Interstellar Math Madness, sponsored by the Mathematics Association of America. After three weeks of round-robin competition against similar Division I teams, SJA is ranked 27th, based on the average score of the top 10 scorers, among thousands of high schools in the US. The school most recently defeated the Liberal Arts and Science Academy of Austin, Texas by a score of 6.2 to 5.8.

The top 10 Academy scorers were: junior Yutong "Tony" Lei from China (perfect score); junior Jingyun "Roderick" Huang from China; sophomore Harper Wallace from Lyme, N.H.; junior Yichen "Alex" Li from China; senior Siyuan "Jackie" Chen from China; junior Zijian Song from China; Tian Tian "Tina" Wang from China; senior Will Jones from Waterford; freshman Matthew Hunton from Lyme, N.H.; and sophomore Yaojia "Hugh" Huang from China. Several of these students were ranked in the top 500 of the 13,696 participating students from across the United States.

The league play rounds of the Math Madness competition are played in live-time via the internet using an ipad, laptop or similar device. The rankings are based on both number of questions answered correctly and the time taken to answer. The Interstellar website describes the Math Madness event: "Math Madness is a League Play event which opens with leagues of round robin competition organized across the country based primarily on skill level, but with special consideration given to geography and common time availability. It concludes with a bracket challenge where all teams participate, separated into divisions based on skill level."

Sharon Fadden, chair of the SJA mathematics department, said, "The kids are loving this new competition! The number of students participating is steadily increasing. It is exciting to see the level of enthusiasm that our students bring to each round. Freshman in Algebra 1 are competing alongside seniors in our college level multivariable calculus course. The speed and real-time results of this competition make it very engaging for students."

Tom Lovett, Academy Headmaster, said, "This is a competition with the best schools in the country from coast to coast, and to be in the top 100, never mind to be 27th, is a great testament to the quality of our math program and the training students get here. The mix of day and boarding students among the top scorers is also indicative of the synergy that comes with having young people who love math all competing as a team, regardless of their diverse backgrounds. Sharon has done a great job building a math culture here and making our program truly world-class."

For further information or to follow the Academy's progress, please visit


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