×

US teenagers win math contest for first time in 21 years

Math
Werner Forman | Getty Images

A team of six American high school students won the prestigious International Mathematical Olympiad, held last week in Thailand, marking the first time in 21 years the Americans have taken first place, according to National Public Radio.

The U.S. students bested teams from more than 100 other countries, including perennial powerhouse teams from China and South Korea, which came in second and third place, respectively.

The article on NPR.org noted that evidence in recent years has repeatedly shown that Americans lag behind students in many other countries in math and science education—particularly countries in Asia and parts of Europe. However, a recent Pew survey, cited in the article, says that gap appears to be slowly closing.

The competition at the Olympiad is fierce. Each student is given three problems to solve over the course of two days.

"If you can even solve one question, you're a bit of a genius," said Team USA head coach, Po-Shen Loh, who is also a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Click here to read the full story at NPR.