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Girl from China beats AI in math at a global competition capturing the world's attention

The 17-year-old placed 12th beating over 500 AI teams and her own teacher.

Girl from China beats AI in math at a global competition capturing the world's attention
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Katerina Holmes

Artificial Intelligence is often thought of as unbeatable, but a 17-year-old fashion student from China proved otherwise. Jiang Ping made headlines by securing 12th place in the Alibaba Global Math Competition, outshining students from prestigious universities like MIT, Stanford, and Princeton, as well as her teacher Wang Runqiu, who placed 125th, according to NBC News. She also out performed 563 AI teams from around the world. 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Nasirun Khan
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Nasirun Khan

Jiang was the only student from a vocational school among thousands of competitors, surprising many due to the non-academic nature of her program. She earned a remarkable spot among the 801 global finalists after an 8-hour test and a 48-hour qualifying exam. The exam featured multiple-choice and essay questions, and surprisingly, no AI teams reached the finals, according to the organizers on Weixin per a post by the Organizers on the Chinese social media platform Weixin.


563 AI teams participated in the contest, including entries from universities and enterprises, according to Global Times. The competition covered areas like applied mathematics, probability, and algebra, and was open to everyone with no minimum education requirements. This year, AI participants were included for the first time. Jiang Ping's stellar performance has impressed several Chinese universities, many of which congratulated her on social media. "Kudos to Jiang Ping! Anyone who has a dream is amazing!” wrote Zhejiang University on Weibo.


The teenager's achievement has sparked people's interest and adoration as they have gone to the girl's home bearing gifts like money and alcohol for her parents. Shopping malls in the province honored the girl by hanging her posters on the walls. The girl had remarkable mathematical proficiency in middle school but she couldn't do that well during her high school entrance exam. During her vocational training, her teacher, Wang, noticed her mathematical skills and encouraged her to apply for the competition, per Global Times. He suggested that Jiang take up college-level math courses as self-study.


The girl is the only person pursuing advanced math in her class because her classmates have different interests and her academy lacks resources to train her in mathematics. Wang, who happens to hold a master's degree in math has been a constant help throughout her journey. The duo often discuss challenging problems with each other as per the outlet. Jiang expressed, "It is fulfilling when I solve a problem, but sometimes painful when I cannot."

"I used to think that I wasn't qualified to participate in such contests, but maybe this can be an opportunity for me to prove myself, especially after learning that waiters, waitresses, delivery persons, doctors, and others can all participate," the girl admitted. Her sparkling success in the competition is magnified by the fact that people in China often consider fashion design a choice for people who can't do well in school. Jiang's feat challenges that stereotype. After seeing her performance, several top universities in China have offered her a spot. The girl shared that while fashion designing is her Plan A math is her Plan B. "I want my Plan B to be visible," the girl revealed. Jiang scored 93 marks on the test, per CCTV Asia Pacific.


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