Sunday, March 1, 2009

Time to sign up for NYSML

What's NYSML? It rhymes with "dismal" and "abysmal," but it is anything BUT dismal or abysmal.

If you loved MATHCOUNTS in middle school, and you're wondering if there's "life after MATHCOUNTS" in high school, you'll probably like NYSML even more.

It's like a souped-up version of state MATHCOUNTS, but bigger and better, because it's for high school students from all over the New York State, the teams are bigger, and it has a much longer tradition going back many more years than MATHCOUNTS! There are usually about 30 teams competing with 15 students on each team, so 450 math-loving students come together each year at NYSML. The NYSML tradition goes all the way back to 1973.

The first parts of the contest are the team and power rounds, when the whole team of 15 gets a whole classroom all to itself to work together collaboratively for 20 minutes on the team round and then an hour on the power round. Then all the students move into the gym where desks are laid out in rows of 15 for the individual contest problems (five pairs of problems with 10 minutes to work on each pair of problems.) Then lunch and hanging out with other math loving kindred spirits from all over the state, talking over the morning's problems. Then RELAYS!!! Then the wackiest buzz round that the organizers can concoct. Then individual tiebreakers (if necessary) and awards. Then a happy drive home in a carpool with some of your teammates, talking over the "problems that got away."

You can see more information and photos of the fun at past NYSML's here. Note that NYSML is now a "calculator-free zone." Starting in 2009, students may not use calculators in any part of NYSML, so leave your calculators at home!

This year's NYSML will take place on Saturday April 25, 2009, at John Jay Senior High School in Hopewell Junction NY (near Poughkeepsie.)

Albany Area Math Circle has sent teams to NYSML almost every year since 2002. NYSML is the premier statewide math contest for high school students in New York, and is considered a model for other contests nationwide. Albany Area Math Circle teams have done very well over the years, capturing statewide B division championships in 2002, 2005, and 2006, and our A team took 3rd place in the highly competitive A division in 2007. (The photo above shows our 2006 Albany Area Math Circle team celebrating their B-division championship.)

Albany Area Math Circle students who wish to participate in NYSML should go to this page for more information about how to sign up.

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