Math Club hosts speaker event and wins Arete Competition


Steven Jiang

Math Club members Juliana Li (10) and Lily Shi (9) work on problems during the Jan. 9 lecture. Math Club hosted a speaker event with alumnus and former Math Club President Jeffrey Kwan ‘20, where he discussed math problems and held a Q&A to answer questions about math.

by Steven Jiang, TALON Reporter

Math Club hosted a speaker event with alumnus and former Math Club President Jeffrey Kwan (‘20), where he discussed math problems and answered questions from participants on Jan. 9 during lunch.

During the speaker event, students chose between three math problems of different topics to answer, discussed math problems with Kwan and asked questions about his experience in math contests and college. Math Club member Jessica Wang (10) recalls her experience in the event.

“He had some number theory problems, some geometry problems and some counting problems in there as well,” Jessica said. “I thought they were well picked — they weren’t too difficult, but they were still thought-provoking.”

At the beginning of the event, Math Club members sat in small groups, working on the warm-up problems that Kwan provided. For the activity, many students turned to collective reasoning in order to solve the problems.

“It was really productive working with other students to solve these math problems,” Math Club member Neil Krishnan (10) said. “I really enjoyed the ideas each person added to the conversation.”

Before midterms last month, Math Club also won the nation-wide Arete Competition after conquering Detroit Country Day School on Dec. 14 in the finals, beating them 40-37. The Arete Competition is an online competition where each participant answers questions and competes in a bracket against other schools.

“Essentially everyone has their own computer and signs in,” Jessica said. “Then, they are given 30 minutes to answer the same eight questions, but in random order. You can go back and forth between every question and they’re all free response questions that get auto-graded by the system.”

Although the short time limit and difficult questions can cause stress, Neil Krishnan believes the contrary.

“Although many may perceive the competition as inherently stressful because of the short time limit, the Arete Competition isn’t actually that stressful,” Neil said. “There isn’t too much pressure and competition.”