Math is Dylan Liu's strong suit.

Math is Dylan Liu's strong suit.

So strong that he's taking advanced placement calculus BC at Jerome High School this year as an eighth-grader at Grizzell Middle School. Next year he will exhaust the school's math offerings when he takes AP statistics as a freshman. His only option after that will be to take math courses at Ohio State University, and possibly some science classes as well.

He looks at the opportunity to sit in a college classroom while still in high school as a "new challenge."

He conquered a challenge two weeks ago when he took first place at the Ohio MATHCOUNTS competition to qualify for the national competition in Denver on May 9.

Liu topped 207 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders who competed at Columbus State Community College. Joining him in Denver will be second-place finisher Clayton Cardinal of Royalmont Academy in Mason, third-place finisher Ryan Welch of Sycamore Junior High in Cincinnati and fourth-place finisher Siddhant Dogra of Ottawa Hills Junior High in Toledo. They will be led by Alex Garvin, coach of Sycamore Junior High's winning team, and will compete as a team as well as individuals.

This is Liu's third year on the Grizzell team.

Not surprisingly, not only is Liu good at math but he also likes it.

"It's not just memorization," he said. "You actually have to interpret and recognize what to do."

He credits his success to the cumulative knowledge he's acquired in class, but he also takes time to study old tests from previous MATHCOUNTS competitions.

At the state level there are two competitions, written tests in the morning and a speed challenge in the afternoon.

The written part is his strong area, Liu said. "I tend to go too fast in the speed round and mess up."

The national format is the same but with more rounds and more time between rounds.

To practice he's studying national tests from the past 10 to 15 years.

Liu isn't the only one from Dublin succeeding in the math arena this year. The Mu Alpha Theta Math Team at Dublin Scioto High School, with students from all grade levels, competed in the Ohio Mathematics League's monthly contests this school year, bringing home a first-place regional finish.

Scioto sophomore Jack Huo was one of only 44 in the state to achieve a perfect score in the last contest. Laszlo Seress, also a sophomore at Scioto, qualified to take the nine-hour United States of America Math Olympiad test April 29-30. The top 12 performers of the 500 invited participants will be declared winners and honored in a ceremony at the National Science Foundation and Mathematics Association of America in Washington, D.C.

Laszlo and sophomore classmate Angela Deng have been invited to participate in the American Regional Math competition in Pittsburgh on May 31.

The club is currently looking for financial sponsors for the students to help defray the costs of upcoming trips, said adviser Teresa Henderly, who can be reached at Scioto at (614) 717-2464.