For mathletes, hard work + smarts = success

The University of Maryland High School Mathematics Competition is the latest conquest of the Mathletes team, having finished the competition on Nov. 30. The competition consists of a two part examination that determines the math champion in all of D.C. and Maryland. First, second and third place receive $500, $400 and $300 rewards respectively. Additionally, the top scorer in each county earns a $100 reward.
Part one of the test was a 25-question, multiple-choice examination that Mathletes took here in the cafeteria. Only the top scorers in the first round are eligible to proceed to the second round. Out of the 39 Mathletes who attempted part one, only eight Mathletes from Wootton and one from Frost qualified for round two.
Round two consists of five math questions so complex and difficult that they take two hours to complete. Last year, out of all the Mathletes, senior Chris Li won honorable mention at the competition. Although results for this year’s test have not been released yet, the team is optimistic about winning another award. “The biggest challenge of the math competitions is losing to others who are sometimes just naturally smart even when you put in so much hard work,” Li said. To prepare for competitions like the one at the University of Maryland, the Mathletes meet every week on Wednesdays to hone their skills. They engage in different types of practice problems that tackle algebra, geometry and number theory, among other subjects.
“We all enjoy living in a ∫(1/cabin),” junior and Mathlete Forest Wu said when asked about what it is to be a Mathlete.
Math teacher and sponsor Alexandra Brasoveanu-Tarpy helps the Mathletes train for competition. Brasoveanu-Tarpy describes members of the Mathletes as people who “work together to improve their math skills, love to think outside the box and enjoy the challenge of a hard math problem.”
In addition to the competition at the University of Maryland, the Mathletes also plan to participate in the Continental Math League in February and upcoming county meets with other schools in which they are ranked “about” third place.


Aaron Levine

Back Page Editor

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