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Jerry Tantikul ’24 Excels in USA Mathematical Olympiad
Greg Kwasnik

While most of his classmates were enjoying spring break in March, Jerry Tantikul ’24 was taking a math test – an epic two-day, nine-hour exam called the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO).

Tantikul was one of only 300 students across the country who qualified for the test, which consists of six fiendishly difficult problems. To qualify for the test, Tantikul had to score in the top 2.5 percent of students on the American Invitational Math Exam (AIME) in February. To even qualify for the AIME, he had to score higher than nearly all of the 35,000 students who took the American Mathematics Competition test (AMC) in January.

“My time in the Math club this year was definitely one of the highlights of my senior year here. I've taken the preliminary exams for the USAMO test for multiple years in the past but never had the chance to take the actual USAMO test because I wasn't in the United States,” Tantikul said. “Having Dr. D [Math Club advisor Dr. John Donovan] go out of his way to set up the exam even amidst his own spring break and help make all this possible was extremely heartwarming, and I couldn't thank him enough.”

Tantikul’s participation in the USAMO was the culmination of a highly successful season for the Holderness School Math Club, which competes in the New England Math League (NEML) alongside 150 other schools. This year, the club participated in six NEML competitions, which are six-question, 30-minute tests. Of the many hundreds of students who participated in the NEML competitions this year, only two achieved perfect scores in all 6 tests. Tantikul was one of them.

The Math Club’s faculty advisor, Dr. John Donovan, put the club’s achievements into perspective.

“It was a great year for the Math Club. It is fun to be around people who enjoy solving challenging math problems,” Donovan said. “Jerry distinguished himself by coming in first in the New England Math League. He bested this by qualifying for the USA Mathematical Olympiad establishing him as one of the best mathematicians of his age.”

Other members of the Math Club distinguished themselves in competition this season, Donovan said. A total of six Holderness students took the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) test, including Yirong Wang ’26, Tina Zhao ’27, Leon Huang ’25, Prasaol Duangnoi '24, Evan Guan ’24, and Jerry Tantikul ’24.  

Huang, Tantikul, and Guan all qualified for the American Invitational Math Exam based on their exceptional performance on the AMC test.

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