San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

Left to right: Texas Mathworks Founder and Director Max Warshauer, and students Kevin Chang, Kevin Tian, Andrew Xu

SUBMITTED REPORT

Three high school students from a Texas State University summer math camp are advancing to the national level of the 2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology.

Students Kevin Tian of Austin, Kevin Chang of Plano, and Andrew Xu of San Franciso won first place in the University of Texas-Austin regional of the Siemens Competition last weekend, thereby qualifying for the national level. The students will compete in Washington, D.C. against five other teams from across the country on Dec. 1-5.

The winners may receive scholarship awards ranging from $10,000-$100,000 and be honored as some of the top young minds in the country.

Tian, Chang, and Xu conducted their research during the 2011 Honors Summer Math Camp at Texas State, under the guidance of Professor Edward Early, who teaches in St. Edward’s University’s math department. Their project, “Determining the Existence of Graceful Valuations of Various Families of Graphs,” advances work on the Graceful Tree Conjecture, which is one of the unsolved problems in graph labeling.

The trio of students constitutes the fifth Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp team to advance to the national level in the 11 years of Mathworks’ participation in the Siemens Competition. To date, 114 HSMC students have been recognized as semi-finalists or greater in the prestigious research competition. In 2009, a team of three students from the HSMC won first place overall in the Competition, sharing a $100,000 college scholarship.

Also competing in the weekend’s events was the HSMC team of Alexandra Ilic of Austin, Bobby Shen of Sugar Land, and Lilly Shen of Sugar Land. Their project, “On the Acyclic Subgraphs of K-Majority Tournaments,” was mentored by Professor Jian Shen of the Texas State University math department.

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