Students Recognized at Math Department Honors Ceremony

An evening Mathematics Department honors ceremony on Tuesday, May 14, recognized 79 of the school's top math students and featured a talk, titled "Looking for Numbers in the Dark: Why Math is a Miracle," by teacher Hudson Harper.

Head of the Math Department Joe Cleary acknowledged the students gathered in Gilchrist Auditorium for the ceremony and asked each student to stand for recognition. Each honoree received a Barry Moran Excellence in Mathematics Certificate — named in honor of retired Loomis Chaffee math teacher Barry Moran — recognizing each individual's achievement, contributions, and commitment to the study of mathematics on the Island.

Senior Max Mongkalakorn, juniors Roy Lam and Jason Lee, and sophomore Aresh Pourkavoos also were recognized for receiving Distinguished Performance Citations from the American Mathematics Competition. The citations are presented to students placing in the top 5 percent of high school math students in the country who took this year's exam, administered by the Mathematical Association of America.

Hudson's presentation shared instances of math "miraculously" helping to define or describe something in the universe. Hudson told the story of mathematicians in the 1840s who determined the existence of the planet Pluto nearly 100 years before anyone was able to confirm its existence visually. Black holes also were defined mathematically long before they were visually recorded, and Hudson noted that the first photo of a black hole circulated just recently.

Although the vast majority of things in the universe are mathematically impossible to define or describe, Hudson said, he detailed how, in rare instances, math can be used to define something by using natural and rational numbers.

"So keep in mind," he advised, "anytime you are able to use math to describe something — you're beating the odds. It's a miracle!"

After Hudson's talk, Joe thanked him for his years of inspired teaching at Loomis. Hudson will embark upon a new career in data science at the end of the school year.

Students honored at the ceremony were:

Senior Elena Anderson

Junior Ryan Armstrong

Senior Christiana Bevilacqua

Junior Thomas Burris-Wells *

Sophomore Madison Carr

Senior Maria Fernanda Cassol

Senior Chun Hei Chan

Sophomore Clara Chen

Junior Xiangxiang Chen

Senior David Choung

Junior Steele Citrone

Senior Azoya Clarke

Senior Jacqueline Cleary

Junior Thomas Costello

Junior Calabria DeFazio

Senior Margarita Demkina

Junior Jenna Donohue

Sophomore Brett Donshik

Junior Kelly Eng

Junior Kaiser Garcia

Senior Nina Gildor

Senior Marleigh Giliberto

Senior Grayson Hall

Junior Isabelle Halsey

Senior Walker Hamilton

Senior Ann Marie Hannoush

Junior David Hanson

Junior Angus Hawley

Junior Julia Hoffman

Junior Anna Hurd

Junior Ryan Jones

Junior Min Jun Jung

Sophomore Kenta Kato

Junior Emma Keane

Junior Rayhab Khan

Junior Matthew Kilmurray

Junior Gabriele Kozik

Junior Grace Kulas

Junior Yeuk Yin Lam

Senior Julianna Lee

Freshman Sean Lee

Junior Peter Lena

Junior Ethan Levinbook

Junior Makayla McPherson

Freshman Zixuan Meng

Senior Micaela Mesite

Senior Suwijak Mongkalakorn

Senior Maia Paige

Junior Aarman Pannu

Freshman Park, Junghyun

Junior Su Min Park

Junior Yongwoo Park

Senior Yujung Park

Junior Eleanor Peters

Senior Mark Place

Sophomore Lily Potter

Sophomore Aresh Pourkavoos

Senior Sherly Quezada

Senior Jaden Rismay

Sophomore Sophie Rodner

Senior Terachet Rojrachsombat

Sophomore Adele Sales

Senior Qwanzi Samuels

Sophomore Peyton Sandridge

Junior Nikita Stepanov

Junior Jirat Suchato

Junior Neala Sweeney

Junior Emma Tishler

Senior Isabella Torbar

Senior Mark Valadez

Sophomore Nalinda Wanikpun

Junior Hanchi Weng

Sophomore Zhao Rong Weng

Senior Quincy Williams

Junior Yuechen Yang

Junior Baihan Zhang

Sophomore Junning Zhang

Senior Yiwen Zhou *

Sophomore Yu Zhou

* received two awards