Akamai Foundation Awards $45,000 in College Scholarships to Country's Top High School Math Students

Cambridge, MA |

The Akamai Foundation today announced a commitment to fund significant programs of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), including a national college scholarship program for high school students.

The Akamai Foundation, established in 2000 by Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) and funded solely through donations from Akamai employees and individuals outside the company, promotes mathematics education in grades K-12 and the pursuit of excellence in mathematics to encourage America's next generation of technology innovators.

At last evening's U.S.A. Mathematics Olympiad awards ceremony in Washington D.C., the Akamai Foundation presented Akamai Scholarships to the top three winners of this year's competition, the most prestigious math competition in the country for high school students. Brian Lawrence will receive $20,000, Alex Zhai will receive $15,000, and Yufei Zhao will receive $10,000. These top three scorers are among the country's most talented high school mathematicians. By awarding Akamai Scholarships, the Foundation hopes to encourage these and other students to continue their pursuit of mathematics education.

In addition to this year's scholarships, the Akamai Foundation also committed to a significant grant to the MAA that will enable the MAA to greatly expand its current summer training program for up and coming high school math students in the United States.

Wendy Ravech, President of the Akamai Foundation said, "The MAA's summer program is akin to the grooming programs for elite athletes hoping to compete in the Olympics. By training up and coming math students, the MAA can encourage the next generation of mathematicians. Studies have shown that mathematics proficiency for U.S. students in grades K-12 is substantially lower than counterparts in other countries. Narrowing this gap is critical when you consider the vital role mathematics plays in today's high-tech economy. The U.S. needs skilled workers to fill math- and science-intensive jobs to keep a competitive edge in the global economy. We are excited to support the MAA and believe that they are working hard to solve this problem."

"We are most appreciative of the Akamai Foundation's willingness to devote themselves to this important cause," said Tina Straley, Executive Director of the MAA. "We are striving to make our success in mathematics, and the public's interest, rise to the highest levels in the world. With this vital support from the Akamai Foundation, we will increase the awareness and success of U.S. math students."

The goals of the MAA-Akamai Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program are to:

  • provide an intensive mathematics program for 60 of the most promising students who have scored at the top in the MAA's competitions; 
  • broaden students' view of mathematics, and better prepare them for possible participation in the International Mathematical Olympiad; and 
  • provide in-depth enrichment in important mathematical topics to stimulate students' continuing interest in mathematics and help prepare them for future study.

Full days of classes and extensive problem sets gives students in the MAA-Akamai Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program a thorough preparation in important areas of mathematics.

About the Akamai Foundation

The Akamai Foundation was established in 2000 by Akamai Technologies, Inc. and is funded solely by Akamai executives, its employees and individuals outside the company. The Akamai Foundation is dedicated to excellence in mathematics, with the aim of promoting math's importance and encouraging America's next generation of technology innovators.

About the MAA

The Mathematical Association of America is the largest professional society of college and university mathematics faculty in the world. Today, MAA's 30,000 members include college and university faculty, two-year college faculty, high school teachers, government and corporate workers, graduate school faculty, research mathematicians, and graduate and undergraduate students.