Monday, May 31, 2010

Hale and Farewell!

Yesterday's picnic was beautiful and bittersweet as we greeted our returning alumni and officially welcomed our graduating seniors into their midst. It was a pleasure to have alumni Alison and Catherine Miller, Zagreb Mukerjee, Beth Schaffer, Liz Simon, Susanna Todaro, Yipu Wang, Lindsay White, and Tom Zink join our gathering.

Our graduating seniors are going off in a variety of directions: Andrew Ardito and David Bieber are headed off to Princeton; Heidi Chen will be at Williams; Peixuan Guo will be at Columbia; Brady Pelkey at Drexel; and Anagha Tolpadi and Eric Wang will be at Cornell.

Our sadness at seeing our seniors go is attenuated by the terrific legacy they are leaving behind--our seniors have done an outstanding job of mentoring and encouraging a record-size group of superb younger students to follow in their footsteps. A few of them are shown at left, including seventh grader Shreya Arora, standing, who received special recognition for her leadership of the delightfully named "Persistent Chickens." At left in the photo is 8th grader Cecilia Holodak, who won this year's Chapter Countdown Round, captained the first place team at Chapter, and was a member of a Science Bowl team that placed 7th in the nation. Gili Rusak (center) and Jien Ogawa (right) were the high scoring AMC8 students in the region this year. Gili also qualified for the American Invitational Math Exam (AIME) this year. Cecilia and Gili are both headed to Penn State as members of the Upstate New York ARML team this week.

Our younger students as well as our vets have already racked up an impressive array of other accomplishments, which we will recap in coming end of year posts. We look forward to seeing our younger students and our vets attack many mathematical challenges in the future.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, it was fun to learn news of alumni who were unable to join us. Founding member Drew Besse is in California this summer, interning at Facebook. Longtime member Nicole Bieber and founding member Manisha Padi will be marching in MIT's graduation ceremonies this week. Nicole has already begun work on her master's degree in computer science. Manisha has been studying economics and mathematics as a Burchard Scholar.

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