The American Mathematical Society recently announced the contestants for its upcoming Who Wants to Be a Mathematician Championship, with two Indian American contestants among the 12 named.
Among the contestants are Anudeep Golla of Fairview High School in Colorado, and Praneet Mekala of the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Golla is a two-time national Mathcounts qualifier. In 2016, he was the highest goal scorer for FC Boulder. He can't wait until humans find a way to colonize Mars and we discover different forms of life in the universe, said his contestant bio.
Golla, who lives in Broomfield, said he enjoys competitions because they push him to "think outside the box and solve a siuation that's presented."
"What I enjoy most about math — and math competitions especially — is the problem-solving and the critical thinking it requires," Golla said in a Broomfield Enterprise report.
Golla was selected for the 2019 contest based on his score on an online qualifying test with questions on algebra, geometry, trigonometry and probability.
Golla, who skipped a grade, immediately joined the math club when he came to Fairview. He has been participating in math competitions since the fourth grade. He has made it to the second round in this competition since freshman year, but it was his first time to qualify for the national competition, the report said.
Mekala’s favorite thing about school is playing pool with friends, his bio said. He has been to 46 of the 50 states in the U.S. and can't wait until he can travel the world, it added. He won the NSF's National Science Competition as a 9th grader.
Mekala joined his school’s math team in the sixth grade and competed in math competitions throughout middle and high school, a Boston Globe report said.
He said in the report that he spends a few hours a week practicing as the competition approaches – roughly two hours a day every day of the week.
Math intrigues him because there is only one right answer – not open to judgment. His favorite subject at school is algebra.
Also competing are Alex Chung from Virginia, Connor Gordon from Florida, Howard Halim of Canada, Michael Han of Iowa, Brian Liu of New Jersey, Steven Qu of Maryland, Luke Robitaille of Texas, Maximillian Guo of Ohio, and Tristan Shin of California.
Another contestant from the U.K., Olivia Guo, was named later on, totaling 12 for the contest, of which 300 students attempted to qualify for.
The 2019 Who Wants to Be a Mathematician Championship competition will be held Jan. 19 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore, Maryland. The winner will earn a top prize of $10,000 – half for the student and half for the winning student’s school’s math department.