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Contestants for the 2020 Who Wants to Be a Mathematician Championship

Here we have photos, videos, and more information about the contestants from the US and Canada who qualified for the 2020 Who Wants to Be a Mathematician Championship, taking place on Saturday, January 18 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Denver. If you can't make it to Denver, you can still watch all the action on the live webcast.

Jae Young Beck

Jae Young Beck, junior, American Heritage Plantation (FL)

Likes to do three things at once.

Some of his favorite things about school are talking to his friends and going on trips for math competitions.

He can't wait until a. the South Korean soccer/football team wins the World Cup, and b. he graduates from high school.


Andrew Cai

Andrew Cai, sophomore, Clements High School (TX)

He's a big fan of the boy band Brockhampton and the Houston Rockets.

Andrew finished in the top 10 at the 2019 ARML (American Regions Mathematics League) competition and was a qualifier for the 2019 USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO).

His favorite area of math is combinatorics, "just because it's the most exciting!"

Benjamin Chen

Benjamin Chen, freshman, Adlai E. Stevenson High School (IL)

He likes to hike in the mountains and got a chance to do that when he visited Alaska this past summer.

His favorite thing about school is the math team. It gives him a chance to discuss interesting math problems with others and relax.

Ben is the youngest contestant in the 2020 championship.

Alex Chung

Alex Chung, senior, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (VA)

Alex, who is a leading member and captain of his three-time state championship tennis team, says he "cannot live without playing sports, watching sports, and reading books about sports."

He's a four-time USAMO/USA(J)MO qualifier.

This  is the second straight year that Alex has qualified for the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician Championship.

WJLA-ABC7 ran this story about Alex: "Vienna student to compete in international math competition," January 8, 2020.

Thomas Frith

Thomas Frith, junior, Abbey Park High School (Ontario, Canada)

Won the UK television show Child Genius in 2015.

He enjoys singing and playing the cello.

Thomas qualified for the 2020 championship in the fall while attending Horsforth School in the UK but now lives in Canada.


Chinmay Krishna

Chinmay Krishna, junior, Blue Valley Southwest High School (KS)

He's a two-time USAMO/USAJMO qualifier and a two-time state Mathcounts champion.

He's been to the top of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (over 2700 feet tall, or, in meters, over 800 meters tall).

Some of his favorite things about school are going to extracurricular clubs such as tennis team, physics team, and math team.

He won the Kansas Blitz Chess Championship just a weekend after winning the state's Mathcounts championship.

He and Kishore Rajesh (profile below) were written about in this article from India West.

Andrew Lee, sophomore, Algonquin Regional High School (MA)

Andrew is ranked 14th in the country in the under-17 division of badminton boys doubles.

This is the second time that Andrew has qualified for the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician Championship--he qualified as an 8th grader in 2018.

He can't wait until: "Summer, when I can do more math."

Austen Mazenko, senior, Cherry Creek High School (CO)

Austen has some literary connections: He was named after Jane Austen and Mark Twain, and shares his birthday with William Shakespeare.

He's a four-time USAMO/USA(J)MO qualifier, and has earned perfect scores on AMC (American Mathematics Competitions) 8, AMC 10, and AIME (American Invitational Mathematics Examination).

He also earned a perfect score on this year's National Latin Exam and received a Gold Award in 2017.

Austen wound up as runner-up in the 2020 championship and received coverage from his local paper in "CCHS student gets second place at math championship" (unfortunately, the link only lasted a day).

Timothy Qian, junior, Montgomery Blair High School (MD)

His favorite thing about school is to meet up with his friends and learn.

Timothy's earned honorable mention in the USAJMO and the USA Physics Olympiad.

He enjoys playing tennis and playing the viola.

Jonathan Qin, junior, Lynbrook High School (CA)

Jonathan's a proficient ice skater, and while we're on the subject of sports, Jonathan says he can't wait until "The Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA Championship again, preferably in 2020."

He's a four-time AIME qualifier.

His favorite thing about school is math club meetings.

Kishore Rajesh, junior, BASIS Scottsdale (AZ)

Kishore likes to watch classic TV shows, such as Cheers and Frasier.

He finished second in the Arizona State University CryptoRally--a cipher-solving scavenger hunt--competing against university students and other high school students.

His birthday is on Halloween.

Read more about Kishore in "BASIS Scottsdale student to compete at math competition," Daily Independent, December 24, 2019.

He and Chinmay Krishna (profile above) were written about in this article from India West.


Luke Robitaille, sophomore, Robitaille Homeschool (TX)

Luke won a gold medal in the 2019 International Mathematical Olympiad (the US team tied for first with China) and won the 2019 Who Wants to Be a Mathematician Championship.

He's been a participant in the Mid-Cities Math Circle at the University of Texas at Arlington since he was seven and is now the circle's co-director.

He can't wait until he's old enough to vote.

Eric Shen, junior, University of Toronto Schools (Ontario, Canada)

He received honorable mention in the 2019 Canadian Mathematical Olympiad.

Eric's favorite thing about school: "My school has lots of really enthusiastic teachers that really love what they do."

He's allergic to watermelon.

We have a total of 13 contestants from the US, Canada, and the UK because of an unbreakable tie between two of the contestants. All 13 happen to be young men, but that doesn't mean that women aren't good at math. See our Women Doing Mathematics page.