Skip to Main Content

Meet the 2014 National Contestants

Below are the ten contestants from across the country who qualified for the 2014 national Who Wants to Be a Mathematician contest, which took place on Thursday, January 16 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore.

Patrick Guo

Patrick Guo

Junior at Westwood High School (TX)

Patrick's favorite thing about school is playing violin in the orchestra.

He was a Siemens finalist and has qualified many times for the USA Mathematical Olympiad.




Sammy Luo

Sammy Luo

Senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (same school as the 2013 champ, Calvin Deng)

Sammy, won a gold medal at the 2014 IMO (part of the U.S. team that finished second to China), had previously won honorable mention in the USAMO, high honors in the USA National Chemistry Olympiad and a silver medal in the USA Physics Olympiad.

He can't wait until college applications are done, so that he can spend more time on math.





Clark Lyons

Clark Lyons

Senior at High Technology High School (NJ)--this is the third year the school has had a contestant in the national contest (Eric Schneider was a finalist in 2012 and 2013)

He participates in his school's mentorship program and one day a week he interns at MITRE in its quantum information science lab in Princeton.

Clark is very excited about the competition and the meeting, and plans to get a PhD in mathematics.


Vivek Miglani

Vivek Miglani

Junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (FL)

Vivek enjoys monitoring and learning about the financial markets. He can't wait until summer.

He loves computer programming and is currently developing a mobile app to help students prepare for math contests.



Emily Mu

Emily Mu

Junior at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Emily is a martial artist who can't wait to get to the competition and meeting in Baltimore.

She notes that her last name is the Greek coefficient of friction [although many would add that that's mean].







Shyam Narayanan

Shyam S. Narayanan

Junior at Blue Valley West High School (KS) and the Center of Advanced Professional Studies

Shyam won the 2012 contest as a ninth grader, finished second in the 2013 contest and can't wait until he wins Who Wants to Be a Mathematician again. He received Honorable Mention at the 2014 USAMO.

He discussed a math problem with President Obama after winning the Mathcounts National Written Championship. His favorite thing about school is having fun with friends.




Tahsin Saffat

Tahsin Saffat

Junior at Westview High School (OR)

His favorite thing about school is the math club where he shares problems and teaches.

In second grade Tahsin listed all the ways to make change for a dollar for his school project. He likes to play basketball in his free time.





Kevin Sun

Sophomore at Phillips Exeter Academy (NH)

Kevin finished in the top 12 in the 2014 USAMO. He was one of the six members of the Canadian team at the 2013 International Mathematical Olympiad, earning a bronze medal.

He enjoys doing logic puzzles and occasionally creates some himself.


Jesse Zhang

Jesse Zhang

Junior at Fairview High School (CO)

Jesse earned a perfect score in the 2013 USA Mathematical Talent Search and a gold medal in 2012.

This past year he published a paper on lunar tidal winds in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics.


Dennis Zhao

Dennis Zhao

Junior at Montgomery Blair High School (MD)

Dennis can't wait until he can drive.

He dismantled a clock when he was three. His parents still can't put it back together.




The ten contestants were selected based on scores on two rounds of qualifying tests (see the test for round one and for round two) and will compete for up to US$10,000 (total) for themselves and their school's math department. Two thousand students took the first test, most of them online using Maple TA, which was provided courtesy of Maplesoft, our technology sponsor.

In addition to the cash prizes in the competition, there are also prizes donated by: Texas Instruments, Maplesoft, John Wiley & Sons, and the AMS. The game is a program of the AMS Public Awareness Office and was developed by Mike Breen (AMS Public Awareness Officer) and Bill Butterworth (DePaul University). Read about--and see video from--the 2013 contest, won by Calvin Deng. Pictured below is Allan Garry (Vista High School), who participated in the 2013 contest, along with his big rooting section and Mike.

From the 2013 national contest in San Diego