Jason Burns

As a high school student Jason won our yearly High School Math Contest several times, once with a perfect score—and this was not an easy contest; We take pains to provide several difficult problems on each exam. Our contest has the reputation of being the most difficult in South Carolina.

As an undergraduate, he convincingly won USC’s portion of the
19th Annual Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest. Only four of the 173 participants in that exam scored above 40 points but Jason scored an admirable 54 out of a total of 70 points.

He also did remarkably well on the Putnam Examination where he placed 105 out of 2510 participants.

Jason received our departmental award for the most outstanding undergraduate in mathematics.

As a student in two of my undergraduate classes and two of my graduate classes, Jason was rearely stumped by any problem I assigned. At the end of the first class I had him in (Discrete Mathematics 574), I decided to have a problem session on the last day of classes. I took with me four hard problems, each short but requiring considerable insight and cleverness, and offered between $1.00 and $5.00 to the first student who could do any of them. Jason did them
all, and quickly too. After the class, he stopped by and said, "I can honestly say this was the most profitable class I have ever attended!" .

He worked in our math lab many hours a week tutoring other students. He was a popular choice of the students who frequent our lab. He is also often seen explaining things to the other students in his classes.