Monday, September 27, 2010

Middle School Math Meet Tuesday October 12

We again encourage our high school students to coach MATHCOUNTS teams and/or to organize and lead small middle school math circles for students in their areas.

Albany Area Math Circle is also offering something new for middle school students this year.

We will have a special monthly "Middle School Math Meet" event once a month.

Our first "Middle School Math Meet" event will be hosted by the Hebrew Academy of the Capital District on Tuesday October 12.

The meet will officially start at 4:15, but we will offer warmup activities for students who can arrive at 3:45. The meet will end by 5:30. Refreshments will be served. Students should bring pencils with good erasers. Please leave your calculators at home!

We will rotate days and locations for this monthly event in future months, including Sunday afternoons as well as weekday afternoons, so don't be discouraged if Tuesday afternoons are not good for you.

We also plan to rotate locations for this event, so please let us know if you would like to arrange for your school to host a future math meet. A special thanks to Hebrew Academy of the Capital District for "breaking the ice" and hosting the first one!

Parents of students who would like to participate in the October 12 math meet should use the form at this link to register their student.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Princeton University Math Contest (PUMaC)

Albany Area Math Circle plans to participate in PUMaC again this year. This is a very challenging and exciting experience run by the undergraduate math students at Princeton University each year since 2006.

(It's exciting that two of our alumni are now undergraduate students at Princeton. Both Andrew Ardito and Dave Bieber participated in PUMaC throughout their high school years, and I'm sure they and all the students involved are eager to draw on their experiences to contribute their ideas to make this year's contest even better.)

Albany Area Math Circle teams have done very well in the past, and we plan to send two teams this year.

More information about PUMaC is available here.

Here are the key dates that Albany Area Math Circle students need to keep in mind for PUMaC:

As soon as possible, email me at to let me know of your interest, even if you are not yet entirely sure of your schedule and ability to commit. We'll be happy to answer questions and to put your parents in touch with other parents whose students are considering going so they can discuss possible carpools and hotel-room sharing arrangements, etc. among themselves.

Sunday October 10: Deadline to inform me of a firm commitment to participate.

Saturday November 13 through November 19: Power Round of PUMaC All 8-person teams will work collaboratively during this time to solve and write up solutions to a multipart Power Round problem. Math circle students will do this collaboration mostly via Internet, and it's important that students who sign up for PUMaC make sure they will have time to work on the problems during this period and contribute to the solution and writeup.

Saturday November 20: All day on-site contest at Princeton University. The Power Round will be turned in at the beginning of the day. The remaining rounds (Individual Subject Tests and collaborative Team Round Test) will take place this day, along with a number of just-for-fun "Mini-Events" that don't count toward the final team ranking (Math Bowl, Rubiks Cube, Useless Math Olympiad, Chess, etc.)

For more information, you may want to talk to students who have gone in the past about their experiences. Veterans from last year who have already notified me of their enthusiastic plans to return this year are: Matthew Babbitt, Gurtej Kanwar, Zubin Mukerjhee, and Jay White. Ashley Cho is also definitely going. Once we have the team composition settled, we will hold a preliminary organizational meeting to help our first-time participating students prepare to make the most of this exciting opportunity.

I have created a special google groups email discussion list for Albany Area Math Circle students who are possibly interested in going to PUMaC this year. Even if you are not sure if you can go yet, you are welcome to join the group to find out more about preparing for PUMaC. Email me as soon as possible if you are interested in PUMaC for this year and I'll add you to the list.

UPDATE: See comments below for questions and answers from math circle students about how PUMaC is going to work.