Lubin Deng, a senior at Cherry Creek High School, received the 2014 Richard E. Lomax National Trig-Star Award from the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) in July. The award includes a $2,000 cash prize and recognizes outstanding skill in trigonometry. Trigonometry is the branch of mathematics that deals with the relations between the sides and angles of plane or spherical triangles and the calculations based on them.
Deng’s trip to the trig top had three stops: school, state and nation. Deng received the highest score and fastest time on the Trig-Star exam given at Cherry Creek High School. Based on those results, he was selected as the Colorado state winner. State winners then took the national test, comprised of three questions about the practical applications of trigonometry to be solved within 60 minutes. Deng answered all three questions correctly in just 19 minutes.
“To complete the test correctly in such a short amount of time is pretty fantastic,” said Curtis Sumner, a licensed surveyor and executive director of the NSPS, which sponsors the Trig-Star program as a way to introduce students to the surveying profession.
Sumner said the demand for surveyors exceeds the supply. “It’s important for us to bring bright, intelligent young people into the surveying profession.” The U.S. Department of Labor reports that some professional surveyors earn upwards of $100,000 a year, while survey technicians earn around $45,000 annually.
While Deng isn’t sure if he wants to become a surveyor, he does plan to use his award money to study math and economics in college. He is considering Harvard, Princeton, Northwestern and the University of Chicago. He credits Cherry Creek High School math teacher Dorothy Dady for his success in the Trig-Star program. “She has coached me since last year and has given me lots of practice tests and helped me develop different strategies,” Deng said.
As the teacher of the Trig-Star winner, Dady received the Richard E. Lomax National Teaching Excellence Award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize. Deng is the second student she has coached to the top spot in the Trig-Star competition.
Posted July 28, 2014.