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Press Release -- May 29th, 2012
Source: Akamai

Akamai Foundation Awards Country’s Top High School Math Students With $45,000 in College Scholarships

Jeff Young
Media Relations
–or– Sophia Tsakmaklis
The Akamai Foundation

Foundation provides annual support for the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and its premier competition – the U.S.A. Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO)

CAMBRIDGE, MA – May 29, 2012 – The Akamai Foundation today announced that it has awarded five high school math students with scholarships for their placement in the recent U.S.A. Mathematical Olympiad. An awards ceremony for the forty-first USAMO winners will be held on June 4th in Washington D.C. at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Following the awards ceremony, the winners will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, to participate in the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MOSP) for in-depth training in mathematical problem solving.

The Akamai Foundation, established in 2000 by Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) 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 of $9,000 to each of the top winners of this year’s competition, the most prestigious math competition in the country for high school students. This year, the competition ended in a five-way tie for 1st place. Recipients of the Akamai Scholarships were Xiaoyu He, a senior at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Acton, MA; Mitchell Lee, a senior from Oakton, VA; Thomas Swayze, a junior at Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, CA; Samuel Zbarsky, a junior at Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD; and Alex Zhu, a senior at the Academy for the Advancement of Science & Technology, Hackensack, NJ.

The USAMO is a six-question, two-day, 9 hour essay/proof examination. The USAMO provides a means of identifying and encouraging the most creative secondary mathematics students in the country. It serves to indicate the talent of those who may become leaders in the mathematical sciences of the next generation. The USAMO is part of a worldwide system of national mathematics competitions, a movement in which both educators and research mathematicians are engaged in recognizing and celebrating the imagination and resourcefulness of our youth.

In addition to providing scholarships to USAMO winners, the Akamai Foundation helped the MAA fund and send a team of four female mathematicians of school age to the first European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO), which took place in April of this year. All four of the U.S. female mathematicians medaled at the event.

“Math innovation has always been, and continues to be, at the heart of our mission,” said Tom Leighton, chief scientist and co-founder, Akamai. “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 promote mathematics education among the next generation of technology innovators, inspiring young people to embrace math.”

Michael Pearson, executive director of the MAA, said, “We are most appreciative of the Akamai Foundation’s continued 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 support will help us to increase the awareness and success of U.S. math students.”

About the MAA
The Mathematical Association of America is the largest professional society of college and university mathematics teachers in the world. The MAA’s 25,000 members include two- and four-year college, university, and graduate school faculty, high school teachers, government and corporate workers, research mathematicians, as well as 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.

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