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Meet the 2013 National Contestants

Below are the contestants who qualified for the 2013 national Who Wants to Be a Mathematician contest, which was won by Calvin Deng. If you couldn't make it to San Diego, you can still see the contest via the webcast. We'll post more videos from the game soon.

Eugene Chen

Eugene Chen

Junior at Amador Valley High School (CA)

He co-founded the National Internet Math Olympiad, an online math competition

Hear Eugene talk about the competition and more with Who Wants to Be a Mathematician host Mike Breen.

Read about Eugene in the Contra Costa Times and the San Jose Mercury News.

Update: Eugene skipped his senior year and enrolled at MIT.

Calvin Deng

Calvin Deng

Senior at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Won a gold medal at the 2012 International Mathematical Olympiad

Part of the winning team in the 2012 American Regions Math League Competition

Hear Calvin talk with Mike.

Update: Calvin also won a gold medal at the 2013 International Mathematical Olympiad, finishing eighth overall.

Allan Garry

Allan Garry

Junior at Vista High School (near San Diego)

Used his physics knowledge to build a trebuchet

Hear Allan talk with Mike about the trebuchet and about what he likes about school.

Allan was written about on the front page of the San Diego Union-Tribune and interviewed on the KFMB-TV News.

Cassidy Laidlaw

Cassidy Laidlaw

Junior at Barrington High School (RI)

Can't wait until he starts doing research

Cassidy is the second student to qualify from Barrington, following Stephen Lamontagne, a runner-up in the 2012 game.

Read about Cassidy in The Providence Journal and East Bay Rhode Island.

Hear Cassidy talk with Mike about his research plans and more.


David Li

David Li

Junior at Basha High School (AZ)

Contributed to the open-source mathematics project, SymPy

Would like to use any winnings from the game to go to a summer math camp

Hear David talk with Mike.

John Mayo

John Mayo

Senior at Miami Springs Senior High School (FL)

His favorite thing about school is the math club

Like Cassidy, above, John is the second student to qualify from his high school (Pablo Luis Hernandez represented Miami Springs Senior High in 2012).

Hear John talk with Mike and find out, among other things, why he owes his brother $8000.

Shyam Narayanan

Shyam S. Narayanan

Sophomore at Blue Valley West High School (KS)

Shyam is the defending champion, having won the 2012 contest as a ninth grader.

Discussed a math problem with President Obama after winning the Mathcounts National Written Championship

Hear Shyam talk with Mike and read about him in an article that appeared in IndiaWest.

Caitlin Randell

Caitlin Randell

Junior at Baraboo High School (WI)

She wants to be a neurosurgeon

Caitlin likes school but isn't thirlled with getting up early

Hear Caitlin talk with Mike about what she's looking forward to in the contest.

After the contest, an article about Caitlin ran in her local paper, the Baraboo News Republic.

Eric Schneider

Eric Schneider

Senior at High Technology High School (NJ)

A runner-up in the 2012 contest

Won a gold medal at the 2012 International Physics Olympiad and the Best Solution for a Theoretical Examination Prize.

Hear Eric talk with Mike.

Alex Wang

Alex Wang

Sophomore at Los Alamos High School (NM)

Can't wait until summer

Would like to use his winnings from the contest to attend debate tournaments

Hear Alex talk with Mike

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

In addition to the cash prizes in the competition, there are 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). Read about--and see video from--the 2012 contest, won by Shyam S. Narayanan, a contestant in the 2013 contest as well.

From the 2008 contest at Providence College