Reid W. Barton

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Reid W. Barton
Born (1983-05-06) May 6, 1983 (age 35)
Alma materMIT
Harvard University
AwardsMorgan Prize (2004)
IMO Gold Medallist
IOI Gold Medallist
Putnam Fellow
Scientific career
Academic advisorsCharles E. Leiserson

Reid W. Barton (born May 6, 1983) is one of the most successful performers in the International Science Olympiads.[1][2]


Barton is the son of two environmental engineers.[1] Officially homeschooled since third grade, Barton took part-time classes at Tufts University in chemistry (5th grade), physics (6th grade), and subsequently Swedish, Finnish, French, and Chinese. Since eighth grade he worked part-time with MIT computer scientist Charles E. Leiserson on CilkChess, a computer chess program.[1] Subsequently, he worked at Akamai Technologies with computer scientist Ramesh Sitaraman to build one of the earliest video performance measurement systems that have since become a standard in industry.[3] After Akamai, Barton went to grad school at Harvard to pursue a Ph.D in Math.

Mathematical and programming competitions[edit]

Barton was the first student to win four gold medals at the International Mathematical Olympiad,[1] culminating in full marks at the 2001 Olympiad held in Washington, D.C., shared with Gabriel Carroll, Xiao Liang and Zhang Zhiqiang.[4]

Barton has been placed among the five top ranked competitors (who are themselves not ranked against each other) in the William Lowell Putnam Competition four times (2001–2004),[5] a performance matched by seven others (Don Coppersmith (1968–71), Arthur Rubin (1970–73), Bjorn Poonen (1985–88), Ravi D. Vakil (1988–91), Gabriel D. Carroll (2000–03), Daniel Kane (2003–06), Brian R. Lawrence (2007–08, 2010–11)). Barton was a member of the MIT team which finished second in 2001 and first in 2003 and 2004.[5]

Barton has won two gold medals at the International Olympiad in Informatics. In 2001 he finished first with 580 points out of 600, 55 ahead of his nearest competitor,[6] the largest margin in IOI history at the time.[7] Barton was a member of the 2nd and 5th place MIT team at the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, and reached the finals in the Topcoder Open (2004), semi-finals (2003, 2006), the TopCoder Collegiate Challenge (2004), semi-finals (2006), TCCC Regional finals (2002), and TopCoder Invitational semi-finalist (2002).[8]

Other accomplishments[edit]

Barton has won the Morgan Prize awarded jointly by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America for his work on packing densities.[9]

Barton has taught at various academic olympiad training programs for high schoolers, such as the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program.[10]

Selected publications[edit]

  • ——— (2004). "Packing densities of patterns" (PDF). Electronic Journal of Combinatorics. 11 (1): R80..
  • ———; Burns, Keith (2000). "A simple special case of Sharkovskii's theorem". American Mathematical Monthly. 107 (10): 932–933. doi:10.2307/2695586. JSTOR 2695586..


  1. ^ a b c d Mackenzie, Dana (2001). "IMO's Golden Boy Makes Perfection Look Easy". Science. 293 (5530): 597. doi:10.1126/science.293.5530.597. PMID 11474084..
  2. ^ Olson, Steve (2004). Count Down. Houghton Mifflin. p. 117. ISBN 0-618-25141-3.
  3. ^ Ramesh Sitaraman and Reid W. Barton. "Method and apparatus for measuring stream availability, quality and performance, US Patent, Feb 2002".
  4. ^ "Individual results in IMO 2001". IMO Official Website.
  5. ^ a b William Lowell Putnam Competition, Mathematical Association of America list of Putnam winners
  6. ^ "List of Medalists". IOI 2001 Official Website. Archived from the original on 2007-04-05.
  7. ^ USACO, IOI 2001 news, [1]
  8. ^ Coder achievements at TopCoder
  9. ^ 2004 Morgan Prize
  10. ^ Index of /rwbarton/Public/mop

External links[edit]