Who's Who

Here are some notable mathletes from Saratoga community. I'll be adding more as the responses to my request for a blurb come in.

Brian Wai (YOG 2012)

My name is Brian Wai and I graduated in the class of 2012. I am a 5-time USAMO qualifier and made it to MOSP during the summers of 2009 and 2010. I also have studied Physics and made physics camp in 2012. I learned math mainly by studying AoPS books and taking AoPS online courses; of these, AoPS Volume 1 was particularly helpful. During high school, I was one of the coaches who helped out weekly at the middle school. My hobbies include math, playing video games, eating, and playing chess and other strategic board games. I am currently attending Stanford University and will probably major in mathematics. Among other things, I also study and enjoy computer science.

Alissa Zhang (YOG 2012)

My name is Alissa Zhang, and I am currently a senior at Saratoga High. I have been involved in extracurricular math activities since elementary school, and was first interested in mathematics by my second-grade teacher. I continued participating in math competitions and activities throughout middle school and high school. In middle school, I was California state champion in Mathcounts. I have qualified for USAMO 4 times, and participated in MOSP in my sophomore year. I prepare for math competitions by practicing problems, reading books, and taking classes. The Art of Problem Solving series of books is very helpful in learning the fundamentals. Some programs which I participated in that were very educational are Awesomemath and Ideamath.

advisor's note:

Alissa was a finalist for 2012 Intel Science Talent Search, and placed 9th at D.C. [related article]

Amol Aggarwal (YOG 2011)

I am Amol Aggarwal, the Saratoga Math Club's Contest Master from 2009 to 2011, and am now an undergraduate at MIT, majoring in math. I started participating in competitions in middle school, and in high school, I continued to take competitions, such as the AMC, the AIME, and the USAMO. I practiced for these competitions by finding questions from tests (or related tests, such as National Olympiads from other countries or International Olympiads) from previous years. Much of the material was available on the web (www.artofproblemsolving.com was useful, but also often using an online search helped to find the webpage of a particular contest that www.artofproblemsolving.com did not have too many references for), though I also used books to find these questions. During high school, I also was one of the volunteers that weekly visited the middle school to teach students material for mathematical competitions. In my free time, I enjoy watching movies, reading books, and playing videogames.

advisor's note:

Amol was a finalist for 2011 Intel Science Talent Search by writing Repeated Distances. [related article| realted article]

Albert Gu (YOG 2011)

I'm Albert, currently a student at Carnegie Mellon University where I am studying math and CS. I was involved in contest math since 6th grade, when I participated in MathCounts for several years. I concentrated on Olympiad math in high school and attended the Math Olympiad Summer Program three times, as well as participating in several national and international math contests. In my last few years of high school I tried to give back to the community by helping out the Toga Math Club and coaching MathCounts at Redwood. My math background also helped me get into computer science, culminating in representing the USA at the International Olympiad in Informatics in 2011. Although there is less of a focus on competition math in college, the principles of Olympiad math are still applicable, helping me achieve 10th place on the 2011 Putnam during my freshman year.

Some of the most helpful resources to me included the Art of Problem Solving books and forums, a strong community (both in real life and online), and loads of free time in high school classes to practice hundreds of problems.

advisor's note: Albert won a gold medal at 2011 International Olympiad in Informatics. He also helped propel Carnegie Mellon into 2nd place for 2011 Putnam Competition, which represents their best finish. You can learn about Putnam Competition, here.

David Zeng (YOG 2011)

I'm David Zeng, president of the math club '10-'11, currently in college at Stanford University. I'm not quite sure what I'll be studying but right now it looks like it'll be CS. I entered the math scene in 7th grade, when my teacher Mr. Schiffner introduced my middle school to MathCounts. Freshman year of high school is probably when I became more serious about math, self studying with books like the classic Art of Problem Solving Book 2 and Art and Craft of Problem Solving by Paul Zeitz. I qualified for MOSP my freshman year, as well as USAMO sophomore and junior year. In my junior year, with the help of Mr. Yim, I coordinated the transition of the Redwood Math Club from being solely run by parent volunteers into being mainly taught and run by high school volunteers. Being able to teach these young, bright minds was probably the best experience of my whole high school. In my free time, I enjoy playing the piano and Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Andy Tsao (YOG 2009)

I'm Andy Tsao, president of the math club '08-'09. I'm currently a rising senior at MIT studying math. I was introduced to the contest math scene in 6th grade. Back then there were parent-run MathCounts and Math Olympiad Summer Programs a few times a week after school. I studied the AoPS series on my own throughout middle school and was able to qualify for MOSP in my freshman year of high school. During my sophomore and junior years, I mainly practiced using the online national olympiad problems and continued participating in math competitions, but I also developed an interest in physics, eventually

qualifying for the semifinal round of the USAPhO. In addition to MOSP I also attended the AwesomeMath summer program, run by many of the same people. These camps gave me the chance to interact with other enthusiastic high school math students and helped accelerate my math education. In my last year at Saratoga High, Mr. Yim and I made the math club better known throughout the school and began to reach out to the Redwood in hopes of creating a joint system where SHS students would replace parents as the teachers and organizers of the Redwood Math Club. In my free time I participate in Rubik's Cube competitions. During high school I broke the North American Record for the 3x3 and 4x4 cubes 4 times.

advisor's note:

Here's the link a YouTube video of Andy solving 3x3 cub in 9.81 seconds at 2009 Nationals.

Wendy Mu (YOG 2008)

I'm Wendy Mu, and I graduated from SHS in 2008. I was Vice-President of math club '07-'08. I just finished my undergrad at Stanford University, where I double-majored in Math and Computer Science. I'm currently working on my Masters in Computer Science at Stanford. In high school, I qualified for USAMO sophomore, junior, and senior year, and represented the U.S. at the China Girls Math Olympiad in 2007 and 2008. A helpful resource for me when I was preparing for math contests was artofproblemsolving.com.