Academy Math Students Are Regional Winners Of UVM Math Exam


Members of St. Johnsbury Academy’s Math team are, from left, Leiyi Li, Yaojia Huang, Zi Jian Song and Seongmin Choo. Leiyi Li, Yaojia Huang and Zi Jian Song tied for first place in Region 2 on the UVM Annual Prize Math Examination. Seongmin Choo received a Certificate of Merit.

St. Johnsbury Academy Math students earned the top three Vermont regional scores in Region 2 on the University of Vermont's High School Prize Math Examination.

First prize was awarded to three students from China: sophomore Seongmin Choo, and seniors Zi Jian Song and Leyi Li. Thirteen students from the Academy were awarded Certificates of Merit, recognizing their ranking in the top 10 percent of all students from across the state that took the test. They were: seniors Zi Jian Song and Chaokang Wu; juniors Bettina Hammer, Yuqing Jiang, Jingyi Liang, Leyi Li and Jiaqin Lu; sophomores Seongmin Choo, Yaojia Huang, Yutong Lei and Harper Wallace; freshmen Matthew Hunton and Ruishi Tao. The top-scoring student in the school was sophomore Yaojia Huang.

Regional winners were honored at the annual Math Day awards luncheon hosted by the UVM Department of Mathematics and Statistics on May 19, at which SJA alum and current UVM mathematics graduate student Dylan Kylie was the keynote speaker.

According to the University of Vermont website, "the High School Prize Examination, administered by members of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UVM, is one of the longest running annual high school mathematics contests in the US." The competition consists of forty-one questions encompassing number theory, algebra, and geometry. The questions must be answered without the aid of technology and must be completed in a two-hour time period. A problem from a recent test read: "A brother and sister walk home from school every day at the same constant speed. One day, 15 minutes after leaving school, the boy realized that he had forgotten his lunch bag at school and ran back to get it. In the meantime, the girl continued to walk home at half her usual speed. When the boy caught up with her, they resumed walking at their usual speed and arrived home 6 minutes later than usual. How many minutes did the girl walk alone?"

Sharon Fadden, chair of the SJA Mathematics Department, said, "This group of students worked together on a weekly basis through our math club to prepare for this examination. They also competed in a variety of state, regional, and national competitions. I am very proud of their success again this year!"

Academy Headmaster Tom Lovett said, "Under Sharon's leadership, our math department has gained international notoriety, and we are pleased to see a mixture of international and local students excelling at the highest levels here by working together. For so many reasons, I am proud of what these students have accomplished!"


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