General Information about Southern California Math Olympiad (SCMO)
Southern California Math Olympiad (SCMO) is an annual mathematical contest sponsored by Math Zoom Academy. The SCMO aims to stimulate the interest of high school students in mathematics and develop their problem solving abilities. The competition is designed to be a fun and exciting experience. The SCMO consists of the First Round and the Final Round. The First Round includes two parts: Part I contains 10 short answer questions and Part II of the First Round contains two questions that require full solutions.
A set of math problems are given to all the teams. Members in each team collaborate on the problem, while the first team that correctly answers a question will "own" that question. Someone in a team raises his or her hand to answer a question, and then he or she will be called on in a predefined order. Each team has two chances to answer each question that has not been "owned." At the end (when either all math questions are owned or the hour is up), the team that "owns" the largest number of questions wins the contest.
Questions and Subject Areas
In the First Round, there are two parts. Part I contains 10 short answer questions. These questions cover the subject areas of algebra (functions, equations, trigonometry, logarithm, complex numbers, etc.), geometry (plane and solid), number theory, and combinatorics that appear in the high school math curriculum, but with more focus on deeper understanding of concepts and advanced problem solving skills. The questions range from easy to relatively difficult, to challenge students with various levels of mathematical skills in high school and some advanced students in middle school. Part II of the First Round contains two questions that require full solutions. Participants will write complete proofs or solutions with all supporting arguments, and the grading is based on the correctness of the solution as well as the clarity and mathematical rigor. Besides the areas covered in Part I, the questions in Part II can also involve inequalities, functional equations, recurrences, and various other Math Olympiad topics.
The first round was given in October 2009. About 200 students from 26 high schools in Southern California participated in the contest. The final rounds were held on December 6, 2009 at Sage Hill High School in Newport Beach. The event started with a talk given by Math Professor, Dr. Hongkai Zhao from UCI. Afterwards, Ms. Kelly Ren showed some interesting pictures taken at the major math contest events. The high energy Team Challenge started at 2:45PM, and lasted for one hour. Contestants selected from the written round held in October are assigned into four teams– Red, Yellow, Blue and Green. The Grand Challenge started at 4:00PM, while the first presenter started to work on the problems as early as half an hour before that. The judge panel of the Grand Round: Dr. Kevin Wang, Academic Director at Math Zoom Academy; Dr. Hongkai Zhao, Math Professor at UCI; Dr. Mihaela Vajiac, Math Professor at Chapman University; Mr. Noureddine Alam, Math Department Chair at Sage Hill High School.
Here is the result of the SCMO Final Rounds:
- SCMO Grand Challenge:
- 1st place winner: George Xing, 12th Grade, Irvine.
- 2nd place winners: Kevin Yin, 10th Grade, San Marino. David Yang, 9th Grade, Diamond Bar.
- SCMO Team Challenge.
- 1st place winner: Red Team: Lisa Beckmann, Aaron Cheng, Daniel Suryakusuma, Matthew Voss, Dai Yang, Leon Zhou, Guanyang Yu, Vinson Luo.
- 2nd place winner: Blue Team: David Ding, Jasper Lee, Benjamin Lin, Henry Maltby, Patrick Manalo, Leon Yao, Leon Zhang, Edward Kim
- 3rd place winner: Green Team: Bryan Brzycki, Bryan Kam, Hyun Jong Kim, Michelle Li, Raku Watari, Simon Wu, Nolan Wagener, Aritro Biswas, Robert Wu
- 4th place winner: Yellow Team: Sarah Herrmann, Patrick Lee, Christopher Miro, Roger Sheu, Kyle Sitton, Tony Wang, Patrick Xiao, Evelyn Chao
History of SCMO
The SCMO was started by Math Zoom Academy in 2008. Th first SCMO was hosted with another major Math event "Who Wants to be a Mathematician?" offered by the American Mathematical Society. Math Zoom Academy and the American Mathematical Society co-sponsored "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician?" and Southern California Mathematical Olympiad – two math contests with Southern California high school students competing for cash and prizes. The event took place on December 6, 2008 at California State University Fullerton in the Titan Student Union. WWTBAM questions covered pre-calculus topics (including logic and history of mathematics). The top prize in the game was $3000. Ten students were chosen based on their scores on a qualifying test given one month prior to the event, with no more than one student from any one school, who participated in the "Who Wants to be a Mathematician?" final contest on December 6, 2008. Forty top scorers in the qualifying test, besides the ten chosen for WWTBAM, are selected to participate in the Southern California Math Olympiad – SCMO, which is a dynamic and entertaining contest. Before the math contests, a math talk (aimed at high school students) was given at 10 a.m. by Dr. Paul Dreyer of the RAND Corporation. The title of the talk: "Six degrees of graph theory: Kevin Bacon, Paul Erdös, William McKinley and me." Dr. Dreyer communicated to students his enthusiasm for mathematics. Dr. Dreyer is also a Math Zoom instructor. Event admission was free. Over 150 students, parents, teachers, and friends participated in the event.
Final Participants for Who Wants to be a Mathematician in 2008:
- George Xing: Winner of $3000 . Rebecca Jacobs: 2nd Place.
- Raku Watari, Stephen Yoo, Kevin Yin, Ricky Demer, David Ke, Oleksandr Stubailo, Hansen Han, Matthew Alexander
Final Participants for Southern California Mathematical Olympiad in 2008:
- Green Team: The Winning Team: 12 Points, won Tie Breaker. Benjamin Cosman, David Yang, Jocelyn Tang, Jason Jong, Tuan Le, Wendy Hsu, Michael Murata, Jan Wimmer
- Yellow Team: 2nd Place: 12 Points. Richard Zhang, Devin Corr-Robinett, Stephanie Tai, Bryan Bocong Chen, Ben Barard, Zongwei Li, Christopher Underhill, Ryan Yoo
- Blue Team: 8 Points. Johnny Li, Brandon Sim, Chelsey Qiaoshu Lin, Derek Ouyang, Katharine Daly, Gregory Simonian, Hugh Bahe, Sean Wang
- Red Team: 5 Points. Dai Yang, Edward Woo, Jong Wook Kim, Su-Hwa Yu, Richard Cho, Eba Kim, Riffany Chen, Sonam Dhiman, Michael V. Loginov
Photo Gallery of the 2008 SCMO Final Contest Event