David Zhu, grade 8, took fifth place in one of the toughest math competitions in the U.S.
Last Friday, student representatives from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Department of Defense and State Department schools worldwide participated in the 2013 Raytheon Mathcounts national competition.
Each state is only allowed four competitors, making it much more difficult to qualify from California than other states; more than 250,000 students and 5,050 coaches participated in the opening round. For the national event May 9-12, 56 teams of four members each were invited to Washington, D.C.
Zhu was top scorer on the California team, with a perfect score of 46. The other California three team members were selected from a group of five students, all with 44 points, by tiebreaker. He was one of only four students nationwide who scored a perfect 46 in the State MathCounts competition. One of the others was the eventual national MathCounts champion.
In the National competition, the written round has two parts totaling 46 points. On Friday, 224 top “mathletes” competed over a two-hour period. Zhu, the only California team member to reach the top 12, scored 44 points, placing him seventh in the written round with the top 12 advancing to the countdown round. In the first part of the countdown round, “he beat his opponent,” said Vandana Kadam, middle school mathematics department chair, but was outpaced by his opponent in the next round, finishing a stellar fifth place at this year’s national MathCounts.
“This is a phenomenal achievement!,” said Kadam. “David has been extremely consistent in all math competitions during his middle school years and this is a perfect end to his MS math journey. Ranking fifth out of 224 top math students is no small feat.” Congratulations to Zhu on this major accomplishment!