Tue, May 01, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Taiwanese fly high in prestigious US math competition

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwanese students scored higher than the global average recently in a number of American Mathematics Competitions (AMC), with one student achieving a rare perfect score in an advanced test, a local education foundation said yesterday.

Taiwanese accounted for about 40 percent of the students worldwide who finished in the top 2.5 percent of the AMC 10 (for 10th graders or younger) and top 5 percent of the AMC 12 (for 12th graders or younger), despite accounting for only 9 percent of all test takers. Those students qualified for the more advanced American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME), which was taken three-and-a-half weeks later, on March 15.

New Taipei City (新北市) ninth grader Chang Lai-ho (張賴和) was one of only five students globally to score perfect marks and the first Taiwanese to accomplish the feat in 12 years, said the Nine Nine Cultural and Educational Foundation, which administers the competitions in Taiwan.

The student, who also won a bronze medal at last year’s Asia Pacific Mathematics Olympiad, said it felt “unbelievable” to have the highest score on the exam.

Chang said he did not spend a great deal of time solving math problems, but added that if he did run into a problem that stumped him, he would turn to his teachers or university math professors for help.

One teacher said he had trouble answering Chang’s questions, adding that felt that he spent more time “exchanging ideas” with the student rather than teaching him.

Greater Tainan eighth grader Chen Shao-ming (陳紹銘) was another star performer who got only one question wrong in the AMC 10 contest.

Chen, the son of math teachers, said he once spent a year working on a single algebra question.

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