Shyam Narayanan, 17, and Yang Liu, 18, two Indian-American youth, along with four other teenagers, took the U.S. mathematics team to the top at the 56th International Mathematical Olympiad, IMO, after a gap of 21 years. They competed against teams from 100 countries.
Glowing with pride at the victory ceremony July 14 after the gruelling competitions in Chiang Mai, Thailand which lasted from July 3 to 13, the young team is an epitome of what America means – a multicultural society whose immigrant populations have enabled it to gain recognition around the world. The six-member team had 3 Caucasians, one Chinese, one part Chinese and Indian, and 1 of Indian origin. “That diversity is a part of our culture,” Po Shen Loh, the national coach of the team, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA, told News India Times.
Shyam Narayanan and Yang Liu are special people, their coach said. While both Narayanan’s parents are of Indian origin, Liu’s father is Indian whose last name is Patil, and Liu sometimes uses that as his last name as well, and his mother is of Chinese origin. The parents’ names were not available by press time. Narayanan is a student at Blue Valley West High School in Kansas City, Missouri, and is enrolled in the Program for Research in Math, Engineering and Sciences, PRIMES-USA, at the Center for Advanced Professional Studies, CAPS, based in Augusta, Georgia.
Members of the U.S. team included Ryan Alweiss, Allen Liu, Yang Liu, Narayanan, and David Stoner, all of whom were awarded gold medals, and Michael Kural, who earned a silver medal, just one point away from the gold. The last time the U.S. team took first place was in 1994.