–$49,000 in prize money awarded in high school math competition–
NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Danielle Wang of Campbell, CA won the $25,000 prize for first place in the second annual Advantage Testing Foundation Math Prize for Girls competition on Saturday, November 13. Ms. Wang, an eighth-grader enrolled in the California Virtual Academy, received the top score on the 150-minute exam for high school girls.
Elizabeth Synge of Lexington, Massachusetts, last year's first-place finisher, won the $10,000 prize for second place. Three other girls earned $2700 each, equally splitting the prizes for 3rd, 4th, and 5th place.
"By expanding access to higher education, we hope to promote diversity in the nation's leadership ranks," said Arun Alagappan, President of the Advantage Testing Foundation and co-founder of the competition. "Historically, women have been grossly underrepresented in math and science in this nation," he continued. "The purpose of the Math Prize for Girls is to encourage young women of exceptional potential to excel in these fields."
210 high school girls from across the nation participated in the competition held at NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. The exam comprises complex problems covering such traditional high school subjects as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and number theory.
"Our intention is not to test for obscure knowledge, or to see who can race through routine exercises," said Dr. Ravi Boppana, director of the Math Prize for Girls, "but rather to identify those students who can generate the most creative insights. For many of our problems, once a student comes up with the key insight, the problem cracks without much more effort."
Mr. Alagappan noted a correlation between gender equality in mathematics and performance on international student assessments. "Our goal is to benefit not just the young women who participate in the Math Prize, but the nation as a whole," he said.
"I believe the United States can compete with any other nation in STEM professions," Mr. Alagappan continued, referring to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics sectors, "so long as we nurture and harness the talents of all of our most promising students."
SOURCE Advantage Testing Foundation