Hannah Guan

Shavano, USA

Hannah  Guan

Hannah is a child prodigy in mathematics who has represented the United States in international math tournaments, published peer-reviewed research in top journals, and set up her own nationwide programme offering STEM education to thousands of students from underprivileged backgrounds.  

Growing up in the poorest metropolitan area in the US – where many families suffer a lack of proper housing, healthy food and medical services – Hannah and her brother were raised by her mother alone. However, her mother always stressed the importance of education, and things started to change when she signed Hannah up for a math club in sixth grade, where she found that she was sensitive to numbers and enjoyed solving puzzles. At age 11, she participated in the Mathworks national competition and became the first person in San Antonio’s history to be selected as a member of the winning U.S. Team for the Primary Math World Contest in Hong Kong. This experience had a huge impact on her, because she realized that a girl from an underprivileged community could be an international champion.  

Hannah’s academic achievements and formal recognitions are too long to list. In the American Mathematical Competition (AMC) Distinguished Honor Roll, she is ranked top girl in the nation and top 5 overall. In computing, she also won First Place in the MIT COVID-19 Challenge International Hackathon, among 5000 participants worldwide. As well as being a math prodigy, Hannah has published in the computational biology area with two papers in Biomedical Science (while still a high school sophomore) and a co-authored paper in Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, the top journal in the field. MIT even named Minor Planet 12885 after Hannah in recognition of her achievements! Her story has been covered twice by CBS, and she has also been interviewed by Congressman Will Hurd for a program called Amazing Americans. 

Not only has Hannah excelled academically, she has helped others do the same. Four years ago, she founded San Antonio Math Include (SaMi) to offer greater STEM access to underprivileged students. SaMi is one of few organizations teaching AI over K-12 curricula for high school students in under-sourced communities, and the majority of students are from groups that are underrepresented in STEM education (78% Hispanic, 12% African American, 53% from low-income families, 50.3% girls). In the space of four years, Hannah has led SaMi to become a national platform for youth to reach their full potential – as well as developing SaMi’s website (mathinclude.org) herself. With help from 206 volunteers, SaMi has now grown to cater to 7183 students in 429 schools from 38 states, partnering with seven universities. If Hannah were to win the Global Student Prize, she would use the funds to make SaMi’s programs accessible to more students around the world, and fund initiatives to provide basic connectivity and devices for all participants.