Evan O'Dorney of Danville, California won $10,000 in the national Who Wants to Be a Mathematician Thursday, January 14 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco. Evan is a junior who is home-schooled and who participates in the Berkeley Math Circle. He won the National Spelling Bee in 2007 and won silver medals at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 2008 and 2009. He's a worthy recipient in that his career goal is to become a math professor. The money that he won will be split 50-50 with the Berkeley Math Circle.
In the contest, 10 students from across the country played two semifinals, of five students each. The two winners of the semifinals squared off in the finals for the grand prize. Both semifinals were very exciting: In each, two contestants tied for first, so a tie-breaking question was used to determine the finalists. For pictures, videos, and more information, please visit the AMS website: http://www.ams.org/wwtbam/national/jmm2010.html.
Evan also received two silver medals at the International Math Olympiads in 2009 and 2008, and the Clay Math Institute Scholar Award for a brilliant solution to one problem at the USA Math Olympiad in 2008. The readers of the UCB Math Dept website may remember him also for winning the National Spelling Bee Championship in 2007. A homeschooled junior, Evan has already taken at UCB Calculus I-II, Linear Algebra (110), Real Analysis (104), the Putnam Preparation class, and is currently taking Abstract Algebra II (114).