8th Annual Arcadia Math Challenge

Sabrina Lo, Staff Writer

Arcadia High School’s Math Team hosted its 8th Annual Arcadia Math Challenge on April 15.  Aside from serving as a fundraiser for the team, the challenge helped promote and provide a fun experience for non-math team members to compete in the subject.

Students were offered the opportunity to participate in individual rounds, a written test, and/or “bowl” rounds, which were essentially teams of up to 4 people competing against each other with buzzers. The price was $5 for individual, $3 for bowl, and $8 for both. Though the prices were relatively low,  prizes to first prize participants in individual rounds included getting a guaranteed spot on Math Team! 

There were four categories that students could compete in, according to their current math class. These included Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2/Algebra 2 Honors, Pre-Calculus/Pre-Calculus Honors, and Calculus. There were over a hundred signups. The first-place winners of each category respectively were 8th grader Kevin Wu, freshman Kevin Huang, sophomore Richard Cai, and junior Charles Pei. 

Students heard about this competition from teachers, flyers, and Math Team members. 

“I wanted to test my own math skills, and see if I had what it took to get into the Math Team,” said Wu. 

I felt that this was an opportunity to express my math skills and interest, and also my willingness to adapt to situations. I like math, plus it was an extra credit opportunity,” said Cai.

On each individual test, there were 20 questions and participants got an hour to do as many as they could. 

While Wu and Cai both expressed that the questions were a bit more difficult than they expected, Huang and Pei both felt that the test was relatively easier than the American Math Competition.

The questions were definitely easier than I expected. I was preparing for questions like those one would see on the American Math Competition (AMC),” said Pei.  

Though these four won’t be able to join the competition in the upcoming year, they owe their great achievements to their teachers, parents, luck, and of course their own studying. 

I’m really excited about [being on the Math Team]. I hope that I can discuss difficult and interesting problems with people who really love math,” shared Chen.

For the bowl, participants Jessica Soehartono and Jianson Huang described the atmosphere and their thoughts. Both had three other teammates and expressed that they enjoy the buzzer-style competition more than traditional written tests. 

“This way was different than a paper-pencil traditional math test because those were more stressful…We only had 30 seconds to answer, [making] answering difficult as there were some parts where you had to do some tedious work,” said Soehartono.

“Not being physically able to see the question is a challenge as mishearing a tiny

part of the question means that your answer would be wrong…It was different because it requires quick thinking, and is more intense and fast-paced,” said Kevin Huang. 

The event was considerably well organized, according to Math Team members. 

“We had several volunteers making sure that everything was working smoothly,” said junior Henry Khine.

“As a first-time volunteer, I was astounded by the excitement and positive energy surrounding the entire event,” said sophomore Grace Khan. 

Aside from all volunteers being on Math Team, questions on both the individual and bowl rounds were written by fellow Math Team officers.

“One month prior, all Math Team members submitted at least 2 problems for the competition. Officers…would pick the best of the submitted questions to be included,” said Senior Ruth Berkun, a captain of the team. “Finally, each officer checked another officer’s test to ensure quality and solvability.”

Math Team is advised by Mr. Nils Miller and Mr. Mauricio Eguez, and they meet weekly on Tuesdays in room G105. Members work on competitive math and prepare for upcoming competitions. 

“My favorite part of being on Math Team is that I get to learn new types of math, like competition math,” said freshman Atharv Prabhutendolkar.

“Members increase the surface area of their brain while simultaneously destroying it!” mentioned senior Selena Zhang.

If Math Team sounds suitable for you and you want to try your shot at joining, tryouts will be held in the fall of next school year. 


Photos courtesy of AHS MATH TEAM