Posts Tagged ‘Hard Problems’

A new documentary, Beautiful Young Minds, looks like a British version of the excellent Hard Problems.


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180px-latex_logosvg1The math skills learned in our math circles have been helpful to students hoping to improve their scores on the AMC tests or the AIME.  But to be successful in olympiads or to answer the questions from USAMTS or AOPS requires that students can also articulate their problem solving in the form of proofs.

A preferred tool for writing proofs and indeed for writing many scientific papers is the typesetting system called LaTeX.  Whether you are a student who has never tried LaTeX and proof writing or you just want to improve your skills, this Saturday’s workshop is for you.  Even younger students will enjoy how easy it is to create very advanced mathematical expressions by mastering LaTeX.

Here is what our friends at the Art of Problem Solving have to say about LaTeX:

The LaTeX typesetting system (pronounced “Lay-Tek” or “Lah-Tek”) is widely used to produce well-formatted mathematical and scientific writing. With LaTeX, it is very easy to produce expressions like

Nearly every serious student of math and science will use LaTeX frequently.

In the second hour of the Metroplex Math Circle we will have a special private screening and discussion of the documentary Hard Problems.  If you have not seen it, Hard Problems recounts the selection and success of the US team at the 2006 International Mathematics Olympiad.  In this excellent film you will see many friends of MMC including Dr. Zuming Feng.

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With the holidays approaching many of you may be looking for gift ideas for young problem solvers.  A good place to start is the excellent Bookstore run by The Art of Problem Solving.

hard-problemsAmong the many excellent resources are two that have been featured on this site that might make particularly good gifts.  The DVD Hard Problems tells the story of the 2006 IMO team.  The profiles of the six team members and the story of how they qualified for and competed in the IMO should encourage any aspiring problem solver.

We have also mentioned an excellent new book by Dr. Titu Andreescu called Problems from the Book.  This book has received excellent reviews and is one of the most searched items on the Metroplex Math Circle site.

If you have any other recommendations for appropriate gift ideas please feel free to post them to the comments.

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The Malayalee Engineers Association of North Texas is sponsoring a math contest.  To support this initiative, Metroplex Math Circle will suspend its normal November 15th meeting allowing more students to participate.

When MEANT last held a contest one of their winners was a young Zach Abel.  Zach went on to great success at the USAMO and IMO as document in the movie Hard Problems.  Perhaps one of the participants in this year’s MEANT contest will follow in Zach’s footsteps.

We will update the following information as we receive it from MEANT.

MEANT Math Olympiad

MEANT in partnership with Microsoft Corporation, announces a competition in mathematics, open to all 6th to 10th grade students in the Dallas Metroplex.

WHEN : November 15th, 2008, Saturday
TIME : 1:00 PM
VENUE : University of Texas at Dallas (UTD).
School of Management (Room 2.801, 2nd Floor)
800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080
Map : (http://www.utdallas.edu/maps/)

Last date to Register : November 11th, 2008.
Registration fee : $10.00 (Non refundable after Nov 11th, 2008).

Click here to download the Program Flyer

Click here to download the Registration form

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This is the continuation of the interviews with the 2006 US IMO team. The first speaker, is ZEB Brady. ZEB spent part of his summer at UT Dallas working at Dr. Andreescu’s prestigious summer camp, AwesomeMath. ZEB was a gold medalist at the 2006 IMO.

These particular problems are much harder than the level normally discussed at math circles, but the strategies of problem solving can be very similar. It is interesting to hear how even these brilliant students struggled with problem number 6.

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This video gives some insight into the thought process of Olympiad problem solvers. The first speaker, Dr. Zuming Feng, is a good friend of the Metroplex Math Circle and is a regular speaker. Zach Abel, the first student speaker, is a Dallas native and an alumnus of Greenhill School.

These particular problems are much harder than the level normally discussed at math circles, but the strategies of problem solving can be very similar. Exposure to former Olympiad winners and coaches is a great inspiration to math circle participants.

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