A champion who really counts
Texas teen becomes first 2x winner of Raytheon MATHCOUNTS® National Competition
For the first time in the competition's 35-year history, a teen Mathlete® won the Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Championship for the second year in a row.
Luke Robitaille, a 14-year-old homeschooled eighth grader from Euless, Texas, is the 2018 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Champion, following an intense, elite competition at the Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel.
Robitaille won the final round of the 2018 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition by answering the question: "The first three terms of an infinite arithmetic sequence are 3.46, 2.47 and 1.48, in that order. What is the first integer term in this sequence?" during the Countdown Round, in which the top 12 Mathletes® competed in head-to-head matchups.
He gave the correct answer, -50, in 14.55 seconds. As National Champion, Luke Robitaille is the recipient of the $20,000 Donald G. Weinert College Scholarship and a trip to U.S. Space Camp.
For the second year in a row, Luke Robitaille was the top-ranked competitor going into the Countdown Round, based on his written test scores.
Robitaille competed head-to-head again this year against Texas teammate eighth grader Andrew Cai, age 14, of Quail Valley Middle School in Sugar Land, Texas, who was the Countdown Round Runner-Up.
The semifinalists were: Daniel Yuan, an 8th grader from North Potomac, Md., and Daniel Xia, an 8th grader from Basking Ridge, N.J.
FOR THE LOVE OF MATH
The National Competition is a Raytheon-sponsored STEM event for top middle-school math students. The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series provides students from every state the opportunity to compete in live, in-person contests against and alongside their peers. Created in 1983, it is open to all students in grades six to eight. The 2018 National Competition was held May 12-15, in Washington, D.C.
“This competition plays a vital role in getting middle school students excited about math, and interested in becoming the next generation of scientists and engineers,” said Raytheon Chairman and CEO Tom Kennedy. “They are our future. The passion, enthusiasm and mastery demonstrated by all these competitors is truly inspiring."
This is Raytheon’s 10th year as a title sponsor for the National Competition, which it is continuing to sponsor through 2025. Each year, Raytheon invests in multiple programs to help cultivate the knowledge and valuable STEM skills that can create sustainable careers for future innovators.
"Our national competitors prove just how far students can go when they have the right opportunities in math and put in the effort to make the most of them," said Kristen Chandler, executive director of MATHCOUNTS. "Luke's success was the result of talent and tremendous hard work, and we are thrilled he is our first two-time National Champion."
The MATHCOUNTS contenders began learning math skills at an early age.
“Basically, I’ve prepared my whole life, because almost all the math I’ve learned is useful for MATHCOUNTS,” Robitaille said prior to winning the national championship.
Luke Robitaille was among 224 competitors from all 50 states, plus U.S. territories and schools that serve the U.S. State and Defense departments who traveled to the nation's capital after earning a spot in the national competition.
More than 100,000 students participated in the local and state competitions that led to this weekend's event.