Akamai Foundation Awards $50,000 in College Scholarships to Country's Top High School Math Students

Cambridge, MA |

The Akamai Foundation today announced that it has awarded three high school math students with scholarships for their placement in the recent U.S.A. Mathematical Olympiad. An awards ceremony for the USAMO winners was held May 20-21 in Washington DC at the The Mathematical Association of America headquarters and the U.S. Department of State Building.

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.

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. Three-time Olympiad winner Brian Lawrence will receive $20,000 for first place, and Alex Zhai and Sherry Gong will each receive $15,000 for a tie at second place. 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.

Participants of the 2007 USAMO were faced with the following types of questions:

  • Let n be a positive integer which is not a power of a prime number. Prove that there exists an equiangular polygon whose side lengths are 1, 2,..., n in some order. 
  • Given 10 (to the 6th power) points in the space, show that the set of pairwise distances of given points has at least 79 elements. 
  • A integer is called good if it can be written as the sum of three cubes of positive integers. Prove that for every i = 0, 1, 2, 3, there are infinitely many positive integers n such that there are exactly i good numbers among n, n + 2, and n + 28.

Wendy Ravech, President of the Akamai Foundation said, "Math innovation has always been, and continues to be, at the heart of our mission. We congratulate these winners, as well as all of the participants in this year's competition, on their pursuit of achieving excellence in mathematics. The Akamai Foundation remains committed to helping to promote mathematics education among the next generation of technology innovators, inspiring young people to embrace math."

Dr. Tina H. Straley, Executive Director of the MAA, said, "We are most appreciative of the Akamai Foundation's willingness to devote significant support to this important event. We are striving to make our country's success in mathematics, and the public's interest, rise to the highest levels in the world. This vital support will help us to increase the awareness and success of U.S. math students."

The USAMO is administered annually by the MAA American Mathematics Competitions program. The MAA's American Mathematics Competitions seeks to encourage student interest and achievement in mathematics through these challenging mathematical contests. From over 225,000 students worldwide taking the first contest (AMC 10 and/or AMC 12), only 10,000 were invited to compete in the second contest (the American Invitational Mathematics Examination - AIME). Only 505 were selected from the second contest to participate in the highly selective and prestigious USAMO.

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.

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.