U.S. Team Wins First Math Olympiad in 21 Years

The win comes despite concerns America is falling behind other countries in math education.

For the first time in over two decades, they are the champions.

The U.S. team won the International Math Olympiad, a competition pitting the world’s best young brains against each other to see which country’s team has the best math mastery. The Americans, a team of six high school students from around the U.S., notched the country’s first win since 1994, NPR reported. This year’s contest was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The competition lasted 12 days. Each team had to work on three math problems. Solving even one means “you’re a bit of a genius,” Po-Shen Loh, a Carnegie Mellon University professor, who served as the U.S. head coach, told NPR.

Although the U.S. team may be celebrating now, concerns remain that American math education lags behind that of other countries. Loh noted that there is also a persistent gender gap in math-related fields. All six members of this year’s winning team are boys.

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