It's widely propagated that America has lost its edge. That we're falling way behind in industry and innovation, partly because our schools don't cultivate ingenuity and brilliance at the same level happening in other countries.
The myth of exporting our intellectually challenging problems, many of them math oriented, is real. Which is what makes this piece in The Atlantic by contributor Peg Tyre an eye-opener. It's primary assertion is that American teens, lots and lots of them and more everyday, are world-class mathematicians. Tyre writes:
A cadre of American teenagers are reaching world-class heights in math—more of them, more regularly, than ever before. The phenomenon extends well beyond the handful of hopefuls for the Math Olympiad. The students are being produced by a new pedagogical ecosystem—almost entirely extracurricular—that has developed online and in the country’s rich coastal cities and tech meccas. In these places, accelerated students are learning more and learning faster than they were 10 years ago—tackling more-complex material than many people in the advanced-math community had thought possible.