Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

IMSA Students Place Nationally in Kangaroo Mathematics Competition

May 4, 2012

What occupied over 5,000,000 students in 40 countries on Thursday, March 15? The International Kangaroo Mathematics Competition, the largest of its kind in the world. This was the fourth year the competition was hosted by the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, and registrations increased to over 175 students this year.

Kangaroo is unique - students from grades 1 through 12 participate, with different exams at different grade levels. The goal is simple: make math fun for students! Questions are challenging, but accessible enough that students of all abilities can enjoy success at problem-solving. The $20 registration fee includes a colorful T-shirt, an inscribed pencil, and a certificate. (For examples of problems from the exams, see the Kangaroo webpage.)

The 2012 Illinois Awards Ceremony was held on Sunday, April 30 at the Hyatt in Lisle. Dr. Vince Matsko, who introduced the Kangaroo competition to IMSA in 2009, was the emcee for the event. "I really was an ambassador from IMSA," said Matsko. "I had many parents come up to me afterward to ask about their children attending IMSA." Matsko emphasized that participation was just as important as winning, and encouraged participants to invite their friends to take the Kangaroo exam next year.

IMSA students did extremely well at the state and national levels. Megan Chen and Konrad Wrobel won trips to a summer Mathematica camp in Massachusetts, and Taylor Herr won a trip to a summer mathematics camp in Zakopane, Poland this summer.

There were many other winners from IMSA. At the state level, at Level 12, Megan Chen placed 1st, Konrad Wrobel placed 2nd, and Rose Sloan placed 3rd. At Level 11, Arjun Garg placed 1st and Brian Chen placed 2nd. At Level 10, Taylor Herr placed 1st, Kevin He placed 2nd, and Anton Karpovich and Evan Li placed 3rd. At the national level, at Level 12, Megan Chen placed 1st, Konrad Wrobel placed 4th, and Rose Sloan placed 7th. At level 11, Arjun Garg placed 4th and Brian Chen placed 5th. At level 10, Taylor Herr placed 2nd, Kevin He placed 3rd, Anton Karpovich and Evan Li placed 6th, and Han-Kyul Lee placed 9th.

Another state and national winner who participated in the Kangaroo competition at IMSA was Danielle Madsen, who placed 1st in the state and 10th nationally.

"I was very pleased to see our students do so well," said Matsko. He hopes to see even more students participate next year. Interested students and parents may go to the Kangaroo web site for more information. Registration for the 2013 contest should begin in September. For more information, please contact Dr. Matsko at

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