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Meet the 2010 National Contestants

Here are the ten contestants who competed in the national Who Wants to Be a Mathematician contest, Thursday, January 14 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco.

Rohit Agrawal

Rohit Agrawal

Junior at Wayzata High School (MN)

Won first place in Minnesota State High School Math League

Invited to Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program

Likes the Klein Four Group's songs, e.g. Finite Simple Group of Order Two

Hear Rohit talk with Mike

Rebecca Easterwood

Rebecca Easterwood

Senior at Shades Valley High School (AL)

Received the Sewanee Book Award

Member, Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society

Likes to play Nancy Drew mystery computer games

Hear Rebecca talk with Mike

Brian Freidin

Brian Freidin

Senior at Glenbrook North High School (IL)

National Merit semifinalist

Third place freshman year in ICTM state math contest

Spent two summers at Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics

Hear Brian talk with Mike

Daniel Li

Daniel Li

Senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (VA)

Attended the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program

US Physics Team member

Daniel can't wait until the LHC begins creating new results

Hear Daniel talk with Mike

Kathy Lin

Kathy Lin

Senior at Los Alamos High School (NM)

US Mathematical Olympiad finalist

US Chemistry Olympiad finalist

Loves origami

Hear Kathy talk with Mike

Ofir Nachum

Ofir Nachum

Senior at Algonquin Regional High School (MA)

Attended the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program

All-State Band for two years

Watches BBC exclusively for his news

Hear Ofir talk with Mike

Evan O'Dorney

Evan O'Dorney

Junior in the Berkeley Math Circle (CA)

Scripps National Spelling Bee champion

Silver Medalist in International Mathematical Olympiad (twice)

Likes to sit at the piano and compose music

Hear Evan talk with Mike

Charles Xu

Charles Xu

Junior at Fairview High School (CO)

Attended the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (twice, red and blue)

Fourth place, National Science Bowl

Favorite non-school activity is turning theorems into coffee

Hear Charles talk with Mike

Kevin Yin

Kevin Yin

Junior at San Marino High School (CA)

First place at Pepperdine Math Day

Fifth place (team) in ARML competition

Carries a briefcase instead of a backpack

Hear Kevin talk with Mike

Ben Zauzmer

Ben Zauzmer

Junior at Upper Dublin High School (PA)

Captain of 2009 ARML national champion team

Perfect score (2400) on SAT

Ben and his sister, who bill themselves as Siblings Unplugged, entertain nursing home residents with their music

Hear Ben talk with Mike and read about Ben's experience at the competition.

From the 2008 contest at Providence College

The contestants were selected based on scores on the national qualifying test and competed for up to US$10,000 (total) for themselves and their school's math department.

Partial support of the event comes from a National Science Foundation Distinguished Teaching Scholar's grant, held by Ken Ono (University of Wisconsin). In addition to the cash prizes in the competition, there were also prizes donated by: Texas Instruments, Maplesoft Inc., 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).