Mason High School sophomore Peter Zhu has qualified for the USA Junior Math Olympiad (USAJMO).
Zhu is the first MHS student to do so since Tong Zhan, who graduated from Mason in 2009. Qualifying for the USAJMO is an amazing feat. There are only about 500 American students who earned the honor of taking this year's test. Grading of the exam takes place April 30-May 2.
“For this type of competition you need to have experience so that when you read the problems you will at least know where to start,” said Zhu. “Last year I missed the qualifying score by a little bit, but this year I made it to the USAJMO.”
The USAJMO consists of a six question, two day, 9 hour essay/proof exam. Zhu had four and a half hours to answer three questions on April 19, and then again on April 20. The top performers will be invited to the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MOSP or MOP), and then six elite students will represent the USA at the annual International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), the toughest math competition for high school students.
Mason City Schools Board of Education members recognized Zhu for his accomplishment at the April 13 school board meeting.
"You're doing this on your own time for more than just fun - but also for fun - and it's pretty incredible and inspiring," said BOE Vice President Matt Steele.
Zhu is the son of Xiaoqiang Zhu and Min Wei. He and his family expressed their appreciation for MHS math teacher Colleen Everett's dedication and support for her students as they pursue their dreams.