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Upcoming math competitions in 2018

Joanna+Lin+%2812%29+works+on+a+problem+during+a+practice+round+for+last+year%27s+online+math+competition+Math+Madness+on+Sept.+27.+Competitors+worked+on+math+problems+online+in+20+minute+sessions.
Joanna Lin (12) works on a problem during a practice round for last year's online math competition Math Madness on Sept. 27. Competitors worked on math problems online in 20 minute sessions.

Joanna Lin (12) works on a problem during a practice round for last year's online math competition Math Madness on Sept. 27. Competitors worked on math problems online in 20 minute sessions.

Tiffany Wong

Tiffany Wong

Joanna Lin (12) works on a problem during a practice round for last year's online math competition Math Madness on Sept. 27. Competitors worked on math problems online in 20 minute sessions.

by Jessie Wang, Reporter

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As 2017 winds to a close, many math and science competitions approach, the two closest ones being the TEAMS competition and the AMC 10/12.

The AMC 10 and the AMC 12 are both 25-question tests that last for 75 minutes, designed to test students’ skills in math. The AMC 10 will be open to sophomores and below and will cover up to tenth grade math, while the AMC 12 will be open to seniors and below and will cover all of high school math.

Both AMC exams will take place on Feb. 6, 2018. There will be a special schedule that day, so any competing students will not miss classes. Students can sign up via a Google form, or scan the QR code printed on fliers posted in Dobbins hall. Sign ups for the AMC B, an alternate version of the AMC test with similar difficulty levels, must be done through Dr. Aiyer, and are only open to active members of the Math Club.

TEAMS is an annual competition designed to challenge students to work collaboratively and apply their knowledge of math and science to real-life engineering problems. Unlike the AMCs, TEAMS is a group competition, with team sizes of four to eight students.

The TEAMS contest lasts for an entire day. Teams are judged based on essays they submit beforehand, a 90-minute, 80-question multiple choice test and a 75-minute design challenge related to the yearly theme. The 2018 TEAMS theme is “Engineering a Greener World.”

Many students have begun preparing for the competitions, though they are met with challenges.

Most of contest preparation is different problems, and I think this is why preparation is so difficult, because it requires a lot of time.” Jeffrey Kwan (10), who is a lecturer for math club, said. “Also, the other thing is that it’s kind of hard to stay motivated when you’re not solving problems. Sometimes you get in a slump where you can’t solve anything and you’re like ‘Oh, I’ve spent two hours, I can’t do anything.’ That’s the hardest part.”

However, the challenges lie not only in the competition’s preparation, but also in the actual competition itself.

“The hardest part of doing a math contest is either avoiding silly mistakes or just managing your time,” Rohan Cherukuri (10), who has been taking part in the AMC competitions since sixth grade, said. “On one hand, you’re trying to go through the problems quickly, but on the other hand, you want to get all the problems right. So you have to find that balance.

Despite the challenges, these competitions can be very rewarding.

“One [benefit of competing] is problem solving, being able to apply their knowledge to new situations,” Dr. Aiyer said. “These are typically not topics that are taught during a regular classroom setting, so for them to be able to gain that knowledge through trial and error or their own interest in finding out how to do it, I think that’s a good thing.”

Aside from challenging problem solving skills, these competitions also strengthen character.

“Competition math just makes you a better person overall,” Michael Wang (11), who has attended the Princeton University Math Competition (PuMAC) twice and participates yearly in the AMC/AIME said.

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Upcoming math competitions in 2018