What occupied over 5,000,000 students in 40 countries on Thursday, March 17? The International Kangaroo Mathematics Competition, the largest of its kind in the world. This was the third year that the competition was hosted by the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, and participation increased 50% from last year to almost 150 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.
The 2011 Illinois Awards Ceremony was held on Saturday, May 14 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. Corinne Madsen won a $1000 scholarship for placing second both in state and nationally at Level 12. Brian Chen won a trip to a mathematics Summer Camp to Zakopane, Poland this summer, finishing first at the state level and third nationally at Level 10, while Megan Chen placed first in the state and nationally at Level 11.
There were many other winners. At the state level, Rose Sloan placed second, and Stanley Yuan placed third at Level 11. At Level 10, Jingfei Li placed third. Emma Sloan placed second at Level 8.
At the national level, awards were presented for the top 20 places. At Level 12, Govind Govind-Thomas placed 4th, Paul Yuan placed 5th, Michael Kobiela placed 6th, Victor Duan placed 11th, and William Erwin placed 18th.
At Level 11 nationally, Rose Sloan placed third, Stanley Yuan placed 4th, Matt Yang placed 7th, Emil Khabiboulline, Justin Lee, and Konrad Wrobel placed 8th, Henry Deng placed 11th, Vignessh Kumar and Matt Tsao placed 12th, Upashruti Agrawal placed 13th, Brinda Gupta placed 14th, Sung Hwan Suh placed 15th, Madhav Mohandas placed 16th, Previn Kumar, Ted Li, and Jorge Quero placed 17th, and Hyun Jin Song placed 19th.
At Level 10 nationally, Jingfei Li placed 6th, David Wang placed 7th, Jimmy Huang placed 8th, Grace Li placed 15th, Paul Bogdan placed 16th, Viveka Patel placed 17th, and Joshua Lam and Claire Liang placed 18th.
Other national winners who participated in the Kangaroo competition at IMSA were Andy Tockman (7th place at Level 4), Joseph Yuan (11th place at level 4), Emma Sloan (12th place at Level 8), and Danielle Madsen (20th place at Level 8).
"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 or contact Dr. Vince Matsko for more information. Registration for the 2012 contest should begin in September.