First Place for Our Math Madness Whizzes
This week, the Yew Chung International School of Beijing’s Secondary students won the “Math Madness” International High School Math Competition. Our school community is very proud of this victory, which came after several rounds of knockouts over a six-weeks period, which saw our Maths magicians compete against renowned international schools from around the world; finally going head-to-head with GEMS World Academy in the final round.
Mr. Damion Walker, who has facilitated our participation, shares with us the significance of entering the competition, which our students have taken part in since its inception in 2017 and the preparation that goes into winning the big prize.
Please tell us more about the competition
Two US-based organizations, the Mathematical Association of America and AreteLabs, have teamed up to host this online event. The competition is online and in a knockout format. Each week we play a different team, and the winner advances to the next round of the tournament.
What is the purpose of this competition?
The competition tests students’ mathematical abilities in a competitive format. Organizing the matches over six weeks gives the tournament the feel of a competitive sport. This format also sustains student engagement and excitement longer than one-off math competitions do. The competition also encourages creative problem-solving, as each question often has multiple solution methods.
Which schools and how many students attended this competition?
The following schools competed: GEMS World Academy, Korea International School, International School of Manila, Pickering College, Concordia International of School Shanghai, Cairo American College and British School of Muscat. Each school has a minimum of 5 participants.
What do you think contributed to our students’ victory?
Every student in the Club enjoys math. They do math in their spare time; they search for and solve interesting problems. And they make the odd math joke from time to time. For them, the Math Club is an opportunity to do what they like.
Practice exercises are also meaningful, and it’s easier to facilitate the Club because students have a passion for math that supplements their mathematical ability. Typically, the members of the Club are exceptional mathematicians with a strong work ethic. Or Club members are average mathematicians interested in becoming better.
What does preparation entail for the challenge?
Students usually do past UKMT (United Kingdom Mathematics Trust) and AMC (American Mathematics Competitions) papers to prepare for Math Madness. Sometimes we also divide the Math Club into two teams and compete among ourselves.
For students who would like to take part next year, how should they prepare?
Speak to their math teacher. S/he will give the student a sample of competition papers as an introduction to the type of problem-solving the competition requires. If the sample questions are exciting and they want more, the student can come to the Math Club. If the questions are a bit challenging, they can still attend the Math Club to learn some strategies for solving challenging math problems. Whether students find math challenging or easy, there’s a place for them in the Math Club.
Congratulations again to the YCIS Beijing Team who demonstrated stellar collaborative skills: