Archive for March, 2011

This coming Saturday we will have two lectures in one.  Students who are not yet proficient in LaTeX will learn this critical skill while parents and other students are encouraged to come hear about the resources that will help build on their love of problem solving while opening up new academic and professional opportunities.

LaTeX is the typesetting markup language used by mathematicians and scientists to format mathematical and scientific expressions. Learning LaTeX is easy and fun for even elementary school students and it allows older students to write up science fair presentations and mathematical proofs like the pros.

While the students work on problems to develop their LaTeX skills, parents and students who have already mastered LaTeX are encouraged to attend to learn about resources that build upon what is being taught in Metroplex Math Circle. Competitions, online resources and advice on preparing for college admissions will all be discussed.


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Evan O’Dorney, an active participant in the Berkeley Math Circle was the $100,000 winner of this year’s Intel Science Talent Search.  He joins last years’ winner, Amy Chyao, in continuing the connection between math circles and this prestigious contest.

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15, 2011 – Honoring high school seniors with exceptional promise in math and science, Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) today announced the winners of America’s most elite and demanding high school research competition, the Intel Science Talent Search.

Evan O’Dorney, 17, of Danville, Calif., won the top award of $100,000 from the Intel Foundation for his mathematical project in which he compared two ways to estimate the square root of an integer. Evan discovered precisely when the faster way would work. As a byproduct of Evan’s research he solved other equations useful for encrypting data. This furthered an interest he developed as early as age 2, when he was checking math textbooks out of the library.

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There is no Metroplex Math Circle this coming weekend, but if you are fortunate enough to be in the Houston area on Saturday, March 19, 2011 you can meet Dr. Titu Andreescu at the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival.  Math Circle directors from around the country will be meeting in Houston and participating in this unique even which is open to the public with advance registration.

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Metroplex Math Circle would like to add our congratulations to the US team that competed at the 4th Annual Romanian Masters in Mathematics & Science competition:

The RMMS 2011, was held in Bucharest, Romania from February 23rd to February 28th, 2011.  The team of six high school students selected by the MAA’s American Mathematics Competitions program to represent the USA in this invitational Olympiad-style problem –solving contest was

  • Michael Druggan, 12th grade, Tates Creek Senior High School, Lexington, KY
  • Zijing Gao, 10th grade, Homeschooled, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Mitchell Lee, 11th grade, Thomas Jefferson High School, Alexandria, VA
  • Bobby Shen, 10th grade, Dulles High School, Sugar Land, TX
  • Victor Wang, 10th grade, Laude Horton Watkins HS, St. Louis, MO
  • Joy (Shijie) Zheng, 12th grade, Philips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH

Bobby Shen and Mitchell Lee each won a gold medal, and Michael Druggan won a bronze medal in the competition.  Bobby Shen had the second highest score in the competition, and Mitchell Lee was the third highest score overall. The USA was the only country to win two gold medals, and the combined total of the top three finishers was enough to make the USA the overall team winner. This entitles the team to bring home in 2011 the traveling trophy inscribed with the names of the winning countries.  A total of 90 students in 15 teams of 6 from 13 countries competed. Joy Zheng and Victor Wang each received an honorable mention for a complete solution of the fourth problem.

This is the third year that the MAA has sponsored a team at the RMMS. The team was selected on the basis of their scores in the 2010 AMC competitions, the USAMO, and their performance at last summer’s Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program. All problems, solutions, competitors, and results and scores are on the RMMS website at http://rmms.lbi.ro


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OK, by popular demand following his March 5th AIME training session, Dr. Andreescu will return as next week’s speaker to continue training our students for AIME.  Whether you qualified this year or hope to in the future, do not miss this opportunity to train with the former Director of AMC and coach of the US IMO team.

Dr. Titu Andreescu, University of Texas at Dallas

Titu Andreescu received his Ph.D. from the West University of Timisoara, Romania. The topic of his dissertation was “Research on Diophantine Analysis and Applications.” Professor Andreescu currently teaches at The University of Texas at Dallas. He is past chairman of the USA Mathematical Olympiad, served as director of the MAA American Mathematics Competitions (1998–2003), coach of the USA International Mathematical Olympiad Team (IMO) for 10 years (1993–2002), director of the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (1995–2002), and leader of the USA IMO Team (1995–2002). In 2002 Titu was elected member of the IMO Advisory Board, the governing body of the world’s most prestigious mathematics competition. Titu co-founded in 2006 and continues as director of the AwesomeMath Summer Program (AMSP). He received the Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished High School Mathematics Teaching from the MAA in 1994 and a “Certificate of Appreciation” from the president of the MAA in 1995 for his outstanding service as coach of the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program in preparing the US team for its perfect performance in Hong Kong at the 1994 IMO. Titu’s contributions to numerous textbooks and problem books are recognized worldwide. Related articles on this site.

I also found out last week that many people were unfamiliar with the book Count Down by Steve Olson and the prominent role played in it by Dr. Andreescu as it describes the US team’s triumph at the IMO.

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The Mathematical Association of America awarded Dr. Zvezdelina Stankova the Haimo Award for distinguished college teaching of math.  Dr. Stankova spoke to the Metroplex Math Circle last month and she is the founder and director of the excellent, Berkeley Math Circle.

Please take the time to read the article and watch the video above which speak to the positive impact realized by Zvezdelina and math circles in her native Bulgaria and in the US.

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Whether you are one of the Math Circle attendees who just qualified for the AIME or hope to some day, you do not want to miss a lecture by our own Dr. Titu Andreescu which will increase your odds of success on this prestigious test and potentially the chance to sit for the USAMO.

Elite universities look at AIME scores to differentiate between their accomplished applicants.  The test is a bit different from the AMC 8, 10 or 12 and requires new skills and strategies for success.

The AIME is a 15 question, 3 hour examination in which each answer is an integer number from 0 to 999. The questions on the AIME are much more difficult and students are very unlikely to obtain the correct answer by guessing. As with the AMC 10 and AMC 12 (and the USAMO), all problems on the AIME can be solved by pre-calculus methods. The use of calculators is not allowed.

The AIME provides the exceptional students who are invited to take it with yet another opportunity to challenge their mathematical abilities. Like all examinations, it is but a means towards furthering mathematical development and interest. The real value of the examination is in the learning that can come from the preparation beforehand and from further thought and discussion of the solutions.


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