Archive for January, 2012

The American Mathematics Contest (AMC) is an extremely important contest for any students interested in pursuing a STEM education and career.  Many of the elite universities use AMC scores to sort out the many applicants who easily achieve 800 SAT math scores.

Our Metroplex Math Circle students are particularly fortunate to have access to Dr. Titu Andreescu as they prepare themselves to take the test.  Dr. Andreescu was the director of the AMC and coach of the US International Mathematical Olympiad team, whose members are selected from among the very best performers in the AMC, AIME and USAMO sequence of contests.

Students should make sure that their schools are offering the A version of the AMC 10 and 12 tests on February 7th.  For those students who do not have access to the test at their school or who are homeschooled, Dr. Andreescu will be offering the test at UT Dallas on February 22, 2012.  Please leave a comment below if you would like to register to take the test at UT Dallas so we can order sufficient tests.

The “10” and “12” refer to the maximum grade in which the test may be taken, however, there is no lower limit on the age of the participant.  Many of our younger students take it with the goal of improving their performance each year and identifying areas to focus their studies.  One extraordinary elementary student, under Dr. Andreescu’s tutelage, even achieved a perfect score on the AMC 10!



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Dr. Jonathan Kane will guide students through important theorems from “the results about angles in circles” to the “theory of inversion.”  He will then derive parametric equations for hypocycloids and similar curves.   Finally, the students will tackle many circle related problems which can be solved using these theorems.

Dr. Kane and Dr. Andreescu are the founders of the popular PurpleComet! problem solving contest.   Many people around the world have been talking about the paper authored by Dr. Kane and Dr. Janet Mertz, “Debunking Myths about Gender and Mathematics Performance.”  This follows another very popular paper by Kane, Mertz, Gallian and Andreescu called “Cross-Cultural Analysis of Students with Exceptional Talent in Mathematical Problem Solving.”

In these papers, Dr. Kane and his co-authors challenge the idea of a biological explanation for the difference in mathematical achievement by young men and women.  Instead they describe the many ways that cultural forces create a significant challenge to US students and particularly young women who would otherwise excel at mathematics and problem solving.  Certainly the outstanding performance of Lisa Sauermann at the International Mathematical Olympiad demonstrates this great potential.

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The Metroplex Math Circle begins its Spring semester with a lecture and some beautiful problems presented by Roberto Bosch Cabrera!  For example:

This lecture will focus on three well known inequalities:

    1. x^2>=0
    2. AM – GM
    3. Cauchy – Schwarz

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Richard Rusczyk has created a number of excellent videos for MATHCOUNTS.  These would be excellent primers for our younger problem solvers.

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