Mathworks team sweeps international math competition in Hong Kong

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
August 2, 2013

A team of four middle school students representing the Mathworks program at Texas State University has won the 2013 Primary Math World Contest (PMWC), held in Hong Kong July 13-19.

The PMWC is hosted by Po Leung Kuk, a regional charitable foundation. This is the first Texas team to win the competition outright--the 2008 team tied for first place. In addition, the four students achieved first place in the team portion of the contest, as well as receiving the Po Leung Kuk Cup for being the top non-Asian team. Mathworks teams have now won the Po Leung Kuk Cup 8 times.

The team was accompanied by Nate Dean, chair of the mathematics department at Texas State, and Monica Martin, a math teacher at Miller Middle School in San Marcos. This is the 11th time a Mathworks has competed in the PWMC, facing more than 40 teams from across the world, with representation from countries including Taiwan, China, South Africa, Indonesia and Bulgaria.

The team members were Alex Liu (13, The Village School, Houston); Vinjai Vale (homeschool, Dallas); Shreya Thipireddy (13, Harmony School of Excellence, Houston); Linda Yu (13, St. John's School, Houston). Liu and Vale accomplished perfect scores on the individual portion of the contest.

The four students’ journey to Hong Kong started in October of 2012, when they were among more than 500 students across the state of Texas who participated in the Mathworks Math Contest (MMC). As top scorers, the four were invited to participate in the Mathworks residential Junior Summer Math Camp (JSMC) in early June with 36 other middle school students. The team prepared for the PWMC during their time in the Math Camp, devoting two weeks to doing in-depth mathematics on the Texas State campus. Under the tutelage of professors and camp counselors, including Jian Shen of the university's math department, the four students gained experience in creative problem solving and teamwork.

The JSMC is directed by Max Warshauer, Regents Professor of Mathematics at Texas State and director of the Mathworks center.

About Mathworks

Mathworks is a center for mathematics education at Texas State University with core programs of Summer Math Camps, Teacher Training, and Curriculum Development. The Mathworks Junior Summer Math Camp and Honors Summer Math Camp are nationally recognized as two of the premier summer programs in the country. For more information about Mathworks, see