1. When did you first find interest in math?
For me, it was rather clear I had a talent in mathematics from a very young age. I could surpass my classmates by far and thus tried mathematics much above my grade level. I soon got introduced to competition mathematics, which was when I really got interested in mathematics. Competition mathematics was something completely new for me, a way to apply my knowledge in a way I never thought possible.
2. Have you participated in any math competitions? If so, have you placed/done well in any of them?
Yes, I have competed in many math competitions. Some of these (the more well-known ones) include (along with my scores)…
AMC 8: 2015: 21, 2016: 25, 2017: 23, 2018: 23, 2019: 25
AMC 10: 2016: 103.5, 2017: 117 (AIME), 2018: 133.5 (DHR), 2019: 127.5 (A)/126 (B) (Both DHR), 2020: 132
AIME: 2017: 7, 2018: 6, 2019: 11
USAJMO: 2019: Single Digit Score
ARML (As SoCal Team): 2017 (A4 Team), 2018 (A2 Team), 2019 (A1 Team)
CCAMB: 2020 (1st place team)
HMMT: 2020 (10th place Guts, 47th place Algebra and Number Theory Individual)
3. Do you have any tips for underclassmen participating in math competitions? Please give tips for each one you participated in.
I have some specific advice for the following competitions.
AMC 8: For this competition, I believe that the AoPS (artofproblemsolving.com) provides great books. For AMC 8, I believe completing the AoPS Introduction Series will have all the theory needed for this exam. For more practice on these topics, you can try past exams or Alcumus, which is an online resource on AoPS
AMC 10: For this exam, if you are aiming for AIME qualification, the AoPS Introduction Series, and possibly Volume 1 (for more practice), will suffice. If you are aiming for DHR or higher, the Intermediate Series is also a great option to look into. Once again, try the past exams or Alcumus for more practice!
AIME: As for AIME, in order to have a solid chance of qualifying for the USA(J)MO, one should finish the AoPS Introduction and Intermediate Series. Also, Volume 2 can serve as a great review, although the parts about vectors and matrices can be skipped. Also, although not necessary, AoPS Precalculus may also be useful. All previous AIME problems should be solved for practice. If practice problems run out, look at the problems from BMT, PUMAC, or HMMT as those are also great resources.
4. If applicable, how have you tried to inspire youth to pursue math?
There was no situation where I was exactly an inspiration for others. However, there was a situation where I voluntarily tutored younger students for free at a nonprofit organization, which was quite a valuable experience.
5. What is the biggest piece of advice you have for other students who hope to pursue math?
The biggest piece of advice I have for others is to not give up. Yes, there are good days and bad days, and you may face barriers you have not faced before, but you must continue on to reach your goal.