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Treviño leads Mexican math team to victory

Professor in front of library on Middle Campus Enrique Treviño
September 21, 2020
Katy Knuckles ’21

Associate Professor of Mathematics and Fulbright Scholar Enrique Treviño and the Mexican math team achieved outstanding success competing at the Cyberspace Mathematical Competition.

The first-ever Cyberspace Mathematical Competition, which hosted 555 students from 75 countries, took place online this past July.

Treviño led the Mexican team, comprised of eight students, with his co-leader Víctor Hugo Almendra Hernández. The competition consisted of an exam in which students worked eight problems, split across a two-day period, for a total of 10 hours of work. The Mexican team performed exceptionally well, with each team member receiving recognition, including the highest honor, a gold medal; six bronze medals; and an honorable mention.  

Treviño’s favorite problem of the exam was:

Each of the n^2 cells of an n × n grid is colored either black or white. Let a_i denote the number of white cells in the i-th row, and let b_i denote the number of black cells in the i-th column. Determine the maximum value of a_1b_1 + a_2b_2 + ... + a_nb_n over all coloring schemes of the grid.

Inspired to study mathematics after competing in the Math Olympiad himself, Treviño has volunteered to coach students for math competitions since 2003. "Engaging with students eager to learn math is very satisfying," he said. "I also deeply enjoy the beauty of the problems in these competitions."

The Cyberspace Mathematical Competition, organized primarily by the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Society, came about as a result of The International Mathematical Olympiad, usually in July, being postponed due to COVID-19.

Zoom photo of math team coach and team members holding indiviual letters to spell Mexico