Mr. Math Celebrates!!!

Nate Maydanchik makes USAJMO as a Freshman!

Last year, around this time, I shared with you my joy when my son Nate won Illinois State MathCounts and finished 12th in National MathCounts – the main competition for top middle schoolers in the country. This year, as a high school freshman, Nate continues to delight me with his great accomplishments.

The main competition for students in Grade 10 or below is organized by Mathematical Association of America (MAA). It is run in three stages. First, all students compete in the AMC-10 contest in November. Based on their scores, about 2,000 best students are invited to the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) in February. AIME is a very difficult test, with students facing 15 problems over 3 hours. Finally, based on the sum of their AMC-10 and AIME scores, about 250-300 top students nationally are invited to the United States of America Junior Mathematical Olympiad (USAJMO), which is a monstrous six question, two day, 9-hour essay/proof examination.

Passing AIME and making USAJMO is a great achievement and a dream for every mathlete. It is particularly difficult to accomplish this feat as a freshman competing against older students. Nate did just that this year – his score of 10 on AIME was in the top 100 of all sophomores and younger in the country, and his AMC-10+AIME total of 220 points was 29.5 points over the USAJMO cutoff!

I am an incredibly lucky father and a very proud coach. Nate is one of the most hardworking young men I have met. I want to use this opportunity to point out to all the young kids who love math and to all the parents who see a math talent in their children – hard work pays off. Nate has worked 10-15 hours a week with hardly a few weeks off for the past 9 years and the rewards are well worth it!