Po-Shen Loh

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Po-Shen Loh
Po-Shen Loh.jpg
Born (1982-06-18) June 18, 1982 (age 40)
Alma materCalifornia Institute of Technology (BS)
Cambridge University (MASt)
Princeton University (PhD)
Scientific career
InstitutionsCarnegie Mellon University
Doctoral advisorBenny Sudakov

Po-Shen Loh (born June 18, 1982) is an American professor of mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University[2] and the national coach of the United States' International Math Olympiad team.[3][4] Under his coaching, the team won the competition in 2015,[5] 2016, 2018,[6] and 2019[7]—their first victories since 1994.[8][9] He had previously won a silver medal for the US as a participant in 1999.[10] Loh runs a popular course to train students for the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition known as Putnam Seminar[11] and is the founder of the educational website Expii.[8][12][13] He also teaches courses on discrete mathematics and extremal combinatorics at Carnegie Mellon.[14] He graduated with honors from the California Institute of Technology with a B.S. in mathematics in 2004. He graduated with a 4.3 GPA and was ranked first in his graduating class at Caltech. After graduating from Caltech, Loh went on to study at Cambridge University on a Churchill Scholarship and received a MASt in mathematics with distinction in the year 2005.[15] He then pursued graduate studies with the support of a Hertz Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship at Princeton University and received a Ph.D. in mathematics in 2010 after completing a doctoral dissertation, titled "Results in extremal and probabilistic combinatorics", under the supervision of Benny Sudakov.[16]

In 2019, Loh developed an alternative to the usual derivation, algorithm and exposition of the solution of quadratic equations, which he believes is "practical for integration into all mainstream curricula".[17]

Loh is the lead developer of a pandemic-response app named NOVID[18] which utilizes a new way to mitigate the spread of contagious disease. Unlike contact-tracing apps, the user is notified before exposure rather than after. The user is told how many relationships away the disease is, where a relationship is defined by two people who spend time together in person.[19]


  1. ^ Sostek, Anya (May 13, 2019). "It took 36 years, but a girl has won the Pennsylvania middle school math championship". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  2. ^ "Po-Shen Loh". Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  3. ^ "International Mathematical Olympiad". www.imo-official.org. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  4. ^ Sostek, Anya (August 14, 2017). "More than 300,000 students entered a math contest. The top score came from a 16-year-old in Pittsburgh Public Schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "They're No. 1: U.S. Wins Math Olympiad For First Time In 21 Years". All Things Considered. National Public Radio. July 18, 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  6. ^ "59th International Mathematics Olympiad". www.imo-official.org. Retrieved July 2, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "60th International Mathematics Olympiad". www.imo-official.org. Retrieved July 2, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ a b Strauss, Valerie (July 18, 2016). "U.S. students win prestigious International Math Olympiad — for second straight year". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  9. ^ "Count One More Gold For The U.S. — In Math". FiveThirtyEight. August 25, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  10. ^ "International Mathematical Olympiad". www.imo-official.org. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  11. ^ "Carnegie Mellon University Putnam Seminar". www.math.cmu.edu. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  12. ^ Antonick, Gary (July 18, 2016). "U.S. Team Wins First Place at International Math Olympiad". Wordplay Blog. The New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  13. ^ Tyre, Peg (March 2016). "The Math Revolution". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  14. ^ "Teaching / CMU Putnam". www.math.cmu.edu. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  15. ^ "Churchill Scholarship". www.churchillscholarship.org. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  16. ^ Loh, Po-Shen (2010). Results in extremal and probabilistic combinatorics.
  17. ^ Dockrill, Peter. "Math Genius Has Devised a Wildly Simple New Way to Solve Quadratic Equations". Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  18. ^ NOVID. "The first preventative tool to fight COVID-19". novid.org. Retrieved April 2, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ Lex Fridman (May 14, 2021). "Po-Shen Loh: Mathematics, Math Olympiad, Combinatorics & Contact Tracing | Lex Fridman Podcast #183" (Podcast). Retrieved June 9, 2021.

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