BOSTON, May 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Kevin Liu, a 14-year-old eighth grader from Carmel Middle School in Carmel, Indiana, has earned the title of 2015 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS® National Champion after an intense, elite competition at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. This is the seventh year Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) has served as the event's title sponsor, as part of a decade-long commitment to MATHCOUNTS and a larger effort to promote education in science, technology, engineering and math.
Liu won the final round of the 2015 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition by answering the question: "How many arithmetic progressions of six increasing terms include the terms 15 and 20?" He gave the correct answer, 15, in 17.9 seconds. As National Champion, Liu is the recipient of the $20,000 Donald G. Weinert College Scholarship and a trip to U.S. Space Camp.
Liu – last year's runner-up – was the seventh-ranked competitor in the Countdown Round, during which the 12 Mathletes® with the highest written test scores competed in head-to-head matchups for the title of 2015 National Champion. Eighth grader Andy Xu, 12, of the Sterling School in Simpsonville, South Carolina, was the Countdown Round Runner-Up. The semifinalists included eighth grader Frank Han, 14, from Central Middle School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota; and eighth grader Freddie Zhao, 13, of Boulan Park Middle School in Troy, Michigan.
In the team competition, Indiana captured the title of First Place Team. Team members include Alex Gu of the Sycamore School in Carmel; Joey Heerens of Carmel Middle School in Carmel; Nathan Hu of West Lafayette Junior High School in West Lafayette, and Liu, the National Champion. The Maryland state team took second place, and the Massachusetts team placed third.
"This is a competition, but more importantly it is a celebration of middle-school students who love math and work hard at it," said Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon Chairman and CEO. "They're all winners – they won the first time they showed an interest in math."
Liu was among 224 competitors from 50 states, U.S. territories and schools that serve the state and defense departments, who traveled to Boston after earning a spot in the national competition. More than 100,000 students nationwide participated in the local and state competitions that led to this weekend's event – the first Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition held in Boston. This year's competition was the 32nd in MATHCOUNTS' history.
"We really need people who have that passion for math and for STEM activities, and these students display that," said MATHCOUNTS Executive Director Lou DiGioia. "They spend hours every week going to math practices. They've made a commitment to the subject and they want to be the best that they can. And that's amazing. That's why we celebrate them."
Raytheon Company, with 2014 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 93 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @raytheon.
About MATHCOUNTS Foundation
MATHCOUNTS is a nonprofit organization that strives to engage middle school students of all ability and interest levels in fun, challenging math programs, in order to expand their academic and professional opportunities. Middle school students exist at a critical juncture in which their love for mathematics must be nurtured, or their fear of mathematics must be overcome. For more than 30 years MATHCOUNTS has provided free, high-quality resources to educators and enriching, extracurricular opportunities to students to lay a foundation for future success. Materials and information are available at www.mathcounts.org.
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SOURCE Raytheon Company