14th IOAA has ended!

The team with the team leaders at the closing ceremony

Around three hundred students from forty-eight countries competed in the 14th International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad organized by Colombia, from November 14th through 21st. This Olympiad had a hybrid format, with the team traveling to Boston and being supervised by the USAAAO volunteers. The American team achieved an amazing result with ten medals (2 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze).

Main team:

William Huang – gold medal
Alexander Hu – silver medal
Erez Israeli Miller – bronze medal
Abhay Narasima Bestrapalli – silver medal
Harsh Deep – silver medal

Guest team:

Geoffrey Wu – gold medal
Justin Chen –bronze medal
Joshua Jones – silver medal
Aarush Gupta – silver medal
Orion Foo –bronze medal

Team Leaders: Evan Tey (MIT) and Katarine Emanuela Klitzke (Georgia Tech)

Training was conducted by volunteer mentors through video calls with the team members.

The USA team was selected by volunteer members of the USAAAO (USA Astronomy and Astrophysics Organization) based on candidates’ results in a selection exam. The next IOAA will take place in Ukraine* in August 2021.

The USAAAO team is extremely grateful to the “The Masson Family Fund” for their generosity. Because of the support of the Mason Family, USAAAO could cover the team’s travel, accommodation and food expenses. We’re also thankful for the collaboration with the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), and to law firm Prince Lobel for legal representation.

For more IOAA moments, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

*Depending on the travel restrictions, modality of the IOAA might be different.

Training Starts This Week!

We’re excited to kick off the Summer with two free training camps this year. We have selected 25 students across the USA to learn and train with our coaches. Students will go over the same topics as the team. If you want to join us and study at your own pace, we will be posting the readings and problems weekly on our website here.

Over the summer we will share more about the team and the coaches so stay tuned!

IOAA will be hosted by Colombia virtually between November 14th and 21st. USA Astronomy and Astrophysics team will travel to Boston and will compete from there.

If you have questions about USAAAO please email us at info@usaaao.org.

2021 USA Astronomy And Astrophysics Team

We are excited to announce the 2021 team. Again, we hope we are able to bring two teams to the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad.

Main team:

William Huang

Alexander Hu

Erez Israeli Miller

Abhay Narasima Bestrapalli

Harsh Deep

Guest team*:

Orion Foo

Aarush Gupta

Joshua Jones

Geoffrey Wu

Justin Chen

*in August we will know whether the guest team can participate

This year’s team leaders are Evan Tey and Katarine Emanuela Klitzke. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the team will not be traveling to Colombia. Instead, they will meet with the team leaders in Boston in November. Stay tuned for updates!

If you have questions about the competition, feel free to email us at info@usaaao.org.

We thank all the volunteers and participants that have made this year possible!

Update: National Astronomy Competition has been Graded

National Astronomy Competition took place on March 20th. We want to thank all the participants and volunteers for making this event a success!

You can find question and solutions here. We apologize for the delay in grading. All the contestants will be notified of their score and scores are published on the website as well.

Top 5 students will be invited to represent the US at the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad. Next top 5 students will be invited to be part of the guest team*.

This year IOAA will be held online in November. We will announce the team shortly.

*guest team participation will be known in August

National Astronomy Competition is less than a week away!

National Astronomy Competition will take place on March 20th. Top scorers will be invited to participate at the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad.

All students taking part in the competition received instructions.

NAC is a 2.5h long written exam and will be proctored by our volunteers.

Slot 1: If you reside between time zones of GMT-8 (e.g. California) and GMT+4, you will take the test at 9am West Coast time ( same as 12pm East Coast Time, 2pm Brazil time, 7pm Romanian time, etc.)

Slot 2: If you reside in other time zones, like GMT-10 (e.g. Hawaii), GMT-9 (e.g. Alaska), or any other time zones, you will take the test at 9pm East Coast time, which translates to 5pm Alaskan time, and 4pm Hawaiian time.

Note: students are responsible for double checking the time difference.

Students from the same school should coordinate to take the exam at the same time slot. If you haven’t received an email from us and you qualified for the National Astronomy Competition, please email us at info@usaaao.org

First Round Complete

All the exams that have been to submitted have been graded and students should be able to review their score on Gradescope! This year the cutoff is 13 and up. Currently there are 110 students that qualified for the National Astronomy Competition (NAC).

Unfortunately we discovered some typos in problem 27 and had to cancel it. We also accepted 2 answers in problem 17. Exam and the solutions can be found at https://usaaao.org/resources/.

Thank you all for participating and being interested in Astronomy and Astrophysics!

For all the students that qualified for the National Astronomy Competition, we will be emailing further instructions closer to the exam time.

Fist Round score Histogram

Last Day to Register!

Today is the last day to register for the First Round! We are excited to have students from 25 states and 8 countries already registered. After the registration closes we will send each student a Zoom link. Please let us know if you do not receive a link by Friday evening, as some emails might bounce or go to spam.

Students must be present at the specified exam time that depends on the time zone of a student. First Round is on Saturday, January 30th. Second Round time slots will be the same.

To register, please use this link. Registration this year is 25$ per student. If you’re unable to pay, please register by using this form. You don’t need to fill out both forms. We want to make sure that everyone that wants to participate has the opportunity to do so.

Slot 1: If you reside between time zones of GMT-8 (e.g. California) and GMT+4, you will take the test at 9am West Coast time ( same as 12pm East Coast Time, 2pm Brazil time, 7pm Romanian time, etc.)

Slot 2: If you reside in other time zones, like GMT-10 (e.g. Hawaii), GMT-9 (e.g. Alaska), or any other time zones, you will take the test at 9pm East Coast time, which translates to 5pm Alaskan time, and 4pm Hawaiian time.

Note: students are responsible for double checking the time difference

For more information about the selection process visit our Selection Process page. If you’d like to receive notifications about future opportunities, join our mailing list here.

Registration Closes in a Week!

Exam will be proctored by USAAAO volunteers and will be fully online. Students do not need to find a teacher in order to register. Once the registration closes, we will send Zoom links to the students with more detailed instructions.

Students must be present at the specified exam time that depends on the time zone of a student. First Round is on Saturday, January 30th. Second Round time slots will be the same.

To register, please use this link. Registration this year is 25$ per student. If you’re unable to pay, please register by using this form. You don’t need to fill out both forms. We want to make sure that everyone that wants to participate has the opportunity to do so.

Slot 1: If you reside between time zones of GMT-8 (e.g. California) and GMT+4, you will take the test at 9am West Coast time ( same as 12pm East Coast Time, 2pm Brazil time, 7pm Romanian time, etc.)

Slot 2: If you reside in other time zones, like GMT-10 (e.g. Hawaii), GMT-9 (e.g. Alaska), or any other time zones, you will take the test at 9pm East Coast time, which translates to 5pm Alaskan time, and 4pm Hawaiian time.

Note: students are responsible for double checking the time difference

For more information about the selection process visit our Selection Process page. If you’d like to receive notifications about future opportunities, join our mailing list here.

Schedule for USAAAO 2021!

We’re excited to announce the schedule of USAAAO for the upcoming year! Registration is now open!

Due to COVID-19, the whole competition will be online. USAAAO volunteers will be proctoring the exams. In order to accommodate different time zones, we will be offering 2 time slots. More details to follow.

Dec 2nd (2020)-Jan 27th (2021): Registration

January 30th: First Round Exam

March 20th: National Astronomy Competition

Sometime in November: IOAA*

Registration will open on our registration page, so get ready and spread the word! If you want an email announcement, join our mailing list here. The registration fee this year will be $25, however we will accept financial aid requests.

You can read more about the tests on our selection process page, and you can find study materials on our resource page. If you have any questions, email us at info@usaaao.org!

* Currently IOAA is scheduled to take place in Colombia, dates unknown

Successful Year for USA at the GeCAA

Around two hundred and seventy students from thirty-eight countries competed in the first Global e-Competition on Astronomy and Astrophysics. Initially the competition was supposed to be held in Bogota, Colombia, but because of COVID-19, it had to be moved online. Estonia took charge of the logistics of the competition and managed to organize this competition in only 4 months; team leaders from all countries helped in the competition by writing problems, supervising the online exam and grading. In addition, the academic committee (of which Ioana Zelko was a part of) oversaw the creation of the exams and the approval of the appeals.

Students took the exams in extraordinary conditions, during the pandemic, some facing technical issues along the way.

The exams consisted of individual rounds in theory, data analysis and observation, and a team competition as well that took place over two weeks. You can see the exams here

In addition, during the weeks of the competition, students were invited to listen to open lectures given by Prof. Erin Kara and NASA Astronaut Catherine Coleman.

USA’s Astronomy and Astrophysics Team performed well under these conditions, obtaining 6 gold medals, 1 silver and 2 bronzes, as well as the best score for the theoretical exam of the competition (the results can be seen here).

Gold Medalists:

Leo Yao

William Huang

April Cheng

Sean Chen (Best Theory as well)

Shion Murakawa

Adithya Balachandran

Silver Medalists:

Jupiter Ding

Bronze Medalists:

Max Tan

Jared Machtinger

Certificate of Participation:

William Li

Team Mentors responsible for coordinating, supervising and grading are: Thaddeus Komacek, Sandesh Kalantre, Katarine Emanuela Klitzke, and Lucas Pinheiro.

The USA team was selected by volunteer members of the USAAAO (USA Astronomy and Astrophysics Organization) based on candidates’ results in a selection exam. Pending on the situation in the world, 2021 IOAA is supposed to be in Colombia in September.

We are extremely grateful to “The Masson Family Fund” for the generous donation, to the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) for their help and support, and to law firm Prince Lobel for legal representation.

If you’re interested in knowing more about USAAAO or want to volunteer, you can email us at info@usaaao.org.