Junior Kevin Du Advances to American Invitational Mathematics Examination


Kate Hayashi

Seniors Leonard Yu and Ryan Shih work out a practice problem together on the day of the AMC exam.

Kate Hayashi, Assistant Opinion Editor

Math club president and junor Kevin Du was the only student from Portola High to advance to the American Invitational Mathematics Examination on March 11 after receiving a score in the top five percent of all test takers for the AMC 12 on Feb. 5. 

Thirteen students took the 25-question multiple choice American Mathematics Competition 10 or 12 exam, which includes theory-based questions on topics such as geometry and combinatorics.

“The test is really special because if you’re able to pass, it means you’re one of the greatest mathematicians at the high school level in the country,” AMC 12 test taker and junior Annie Li said.

After the AIME, high performing students advance to the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad or the junior olympiad (USAJMO) for lowerclassmen, and top scorers on the USAMO are invited to represent the United States at the International Mathematical Olympiad. Du qualified for the USAJMO as a freshman but not as a sophomore.

“This year’s AMC was hard, and the AIME cut-off was a historical low,” Du said. “I still did well on the AMC, so I hope I have a chance this year. For this year’s competition, I hope to learn something out of the experience, whether I do well or not. I definitely learned more studying for the AIME with my friends so far, so whether or not we qualify for USAMO doesn’t really matter.”

Du helped other students prepare for the AMC exams and explore their passion for the subject during weekly math club meetings, and he continues to work with students for upcoming math competitions like Math Day at the Beach on March 14. 

“Every week I come to our math club meetings, and Kevin Du spends a lot of time to help us with practice problems and problem solving techniques,” AMC 12 test taker and senior Ryan Shih said. “When I had interest in math, I talked to Kevin, and he introduced me to even volunteering and tutoring in math outside.”