Canadian Mathematical Society

2015 Math Team Canada Biographies

Yan (Bill) Huang

Yan (Bill) Huang

Bill was born in Shanghai, China and later immigrated to Canada. He has been interested in mathematics for as long as he can remember. Bill enrolled in a grade five math class in grade one and advanced to one of Toronto's primary gifted classes.

He is completing his final year of high school at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South (West Windsor, NJ). After graduation, Bill plans on attending Princeton University to study mathematics and computer science. He hopes to major in mathematics and go on to earn a PhD in math or theoretical computer science.

“The thought of being one of only six students chosen to represent Canada is really amazing,” said Bill. “For me, it is also a dream come true, as ever since MathCounts in middle school, I have always dreamed of competing in the IMO.”

Bill enjoys playing piano, which he has been playing for more than 12 years, swimming, both leisurely and competitively, playing video games and watching animated television shows. One of Bill’s favourite places to visit in Canada is Toronto, where he has fond childhood memories. He lived in Toronto until he was ten and still has family there. He always wanted to visit Western Canada, especially the Rockies, and is looking forward to the IMO Training Camp in Banff.

Michael Pang

Michael Pang

Michael was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and has always been curious about math and enjoyed problem solving from an early age. He first became serious about math competitions in junior high, after a teacher introduced him to contests including the Gauss, Fryer and CNML which motivated him to explore math beyond school.

This year, Michael received a silver medal in Asian Pacific Mathematics Olympiad (APMO), an Honourable Mention in the 2014 Sun Life Financial Canadian Open Mathematical Challenge (COMC) and an Honourable Mention in the 2015 Sun Life Financial Canadian Mathematical Olympiad (CMO).

Michael plans to study Mathematics/Financial Analysis and Risk Management at the University of Waterloo in the fall, where he will receive the National Scholarship from the Faculty of Math and the President’s Scholarship of Distinction. Although this will be Michael's last Olympiad competition, he looks forward to undergraduate math competitions such as the Putnam.

“It’s a great honour to be chosen to represent the country in which I was born and raised,” said Michael. “I love Canada and feel a big responsibility to work hard and perform my best at IMO for my country and fellow teammates.”

In addition to math, Michael enjoys solving all kinds of problems, including physics and computer science. Other hobbies include chess, volunteering, badminton, basketball, swimming and listening to music. Michael's favourite place in Canada is Vancouver because of the beautiful scenery, great weather, proximity to the Pacific and variety of restaurants.

Zhou Qun (Alex) Song

Zhou Qun (Alex) Song

Alex was born in Tianjin, China and immigrated to Canada with is parents at age five. He became interested in mathematics in elementary school.

Alex earned an Honourable mention in the 2015 CMO and plans to attend university in the fall. This is his sixth time representing Canada at the IMO.

“[The IMO] is an opportunity to work with a large number of fellow high school prospective mathematicians,” said Song. “I’ve heard a lot about Thailand from classmates at my school, and just absorbing the culture first-hand excites me.”

Alex enjoys reading non-fiction, learning about popular and technical science, and playing board and card games in his spare time. His favourite place in Canada is Saskatoon. He has fond memories of visiting the Saskatchewan city and said it is busy, yet still peaceful. Alex hopes to visit the Maritime Provinces in the near future.

Kevin Sun

Kevin Sun

This is Kevin’s third year on Math Team Canada. The 16-year-old was born in New Brunswick and is a grade 11 student at Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter, NH). Kevin became interested in mathematics at an early age. He started doing math competitions in grade six and began competing in Olympiad-level math in grade eight.

“It is a great honour to be representing Canada at the IMO again,” said Kevin. “I hope I can help our team achieve good results at the IMO. In the months before IMO, I will train considerably and hopefully be able to improve our team’s performance.”

After completing high school, Kevin hopes to attend university and study math or science and wants to pursue a math-related career in the future. Kevin looks forward to bonding with the other members of Math Team Canada, meeting the international teams and discussing math with IMO participants.

His hobbies include programming, doing logic puzzles and participating in puzzle hunts. Kevin’s favourite place in Canada is Banff, Alberta, where the Summer IMO Training Camp is held each June.

Alexander Whatley

Alexander Whatley

Alexander was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and has been interested in mathematics since he was little. He started doing math contests in grade six and has advanced to Olympiad-level exams. He recently earned First Prize in the 2015 CMO and this will be his third time representing Canada at the IMO.

The grade 12 student will graduate from the North Houston Academy of Science and Mathematics (Houston, Texas) this June and plans to attend Harvard University in the fall for a double major in mathematics and computer science.

“I am very proud and happy to be representing Canada at the IMO,” said Alexander. “The 2015 IMO will be the last event of my high school career, and I hope to make the best out of it.”

Alexander enjoy programming, playing the piano, and riding his bike in his free time. His favourite places in Canada to visit is Banff, where the IMO training camp will be held, and his hometown of Vancouver.

Jinhao Hunter Xu

Jinhao (Hunter) Xu

Hunter was born in Nanjing, China and immigrated to Canada in 2001. The grade 11 student at University Hill Secondary School (Vancouver, B.C.) has been interested in mathematics since he was three.

Hunter recently earned the Silver Award at the 2014 COMC, Honourable Mention in the APMO, Second Place in the Fermat Contest and Honourable Mention in the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO).

“It is a dream come true to participate in the IMO,” said Hunter, who looks forward to meeting the top mathematics students from all over the world this July in Thailand.

His hobbies include chess, physics, Rubik’s cube and music and his favourite place in Canada is his hometown, Vancouver.

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