Students Geared Up for Math Competition


Pencils were flying on scratch paper as 22 DMAE students sat at cafeteria tables and raced against time to solve difficult math problems. They were competing in the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) along with students from high schools around the nation. Math teacher Anthony Thomas who hosted the event in the South Cafeteria on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, stood nearby smiling proudly as students took the challenge.

“I thought I would host this math competition because it would give talented students the opportunity to compete in a prestigious competition,” Mr. Thomas said.

The event was started by The Mathematics Association of America’s (MAA), an organization dedicated to the goal of strengthening the mathematical capabilities of young people. The organization has held the competition for more than 60 years to identity, recognize and reward excellence in mathematics through the national contests for middle school and high school students.

The test taken by DMAE students included 25 multiple choice questions and lasted 75-minutes. The test assessed students’ mathematics skills that required application of pre-calculus concepts. Calculators were not allowed during the test.

The no calculator rule was established in 2008 and is part of what makes the competition so challenging.

“Unlike the SATs where you are allowed to use a calculator, it was a bit difficult since I had to adjust to this policy,” junior Michael Rendon said.

The contest is intended for everyone, from the average student who enjoys math to the math whiz, as a way of interesting students to study mathematics more intensely. First year top students earn a pin; after that students must place in the top tier in consecutive years to earn bronze, silver and gold medals.

This year freshman Madelyn Kim placed in the top 3% (as the result of taking both versions of the high school test) and qualified for the American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME). She participated in that prestigious competition on March 14, 2013. However, she did not place into the higher, next level. Only three other DMAE students have previously taken the AIME.

Students from all grades participated this year, with the exception of seniors. There were nine freshmen, ten sophomores and seven juniors.

“I was very pleased with the turnout and the cooperation from the students. I was happy to see that so many students wanted to take part in such a prestigious competition,” Mr. Thomas said.