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Whiz Kid: Samuel Zbarsky Joins US Elite Math Team

The team will be honored in Washington, DC on June 4.


A student received the honor of being named a member of the 2012 USA Mathematical Olympiad Team (USAMOT) on May 9.

Samuel Zbarsky—a junior in the Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science Magnet Program—will join an elite team of 12 as they travel to Slovenia to compete in the 2012 International Linguistics Olympiad, which will be held July 29 to August 4.

Zbarsky will also take part in a Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During this time, he will be given the chance to join five of his teammates to compete at the 53rd International Mathematical Olympiad competition (IMO).

The competition will be held in Argentina in the city of Mar del Plata on July 4-16.

“I am happy to be a USAMO winner and am thankful to all of the math teachers who have encouraged and taught me,” Zbarsky said.

Getting to this point wasn’t easy for Zbarsky. It was a three-month long process of examinations.

In order to qualify to succeed on the ultimate exam he had to take two preliminary exams—the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) 12, and the American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME).

He was among about 270 students who qualified, according to the Blair Magnet Foundation.

His high score paved the way to take a nine-hour essay examination called the USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO). The six-question exam is meant to identify talent in students who have the potential to become future leaders in the mathematical and science fields.

Zbarsky and his teammates will be honored at an award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 4, at the National Academy of Sciences, and the Mathematical Association of America headquarters.

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