Congratulations to all the awesome high school student coaches who have helped to coach the middle school students who did such an outstanding job at today's chapter.
The top seven teams all included students who have participated in our middle school math programs and/or have been coached by Albany Area Math Circle student coaches and/or advisors. Out of the top 20 individuals, 17 students have also participated in our middle school math circle programs and/or had AAMC student coaches.
First place team: Farnsworth Middle School
Three of the four students on Farnsworth's team have participated in our middle school math programs, as have several of their individual members. Student coach Zubin Mukerjee has done a particularly awesome job of working with William Wang and Bill Dong in his satellite middle school math circle. Bill Dong was 5th place individual; William Wang ranked 3rd on individual writtens, and won the Countdown Round. Alicia Chen, a member of the "persistent chickens" team from our middle school math circle made the Countdown Round also, ranking 11th.
Second place team: Shaker Junior High School
Gili Rusak, who ranked 2nd on writtens and made the semifinals in Countdown, led the Shaker team to a 2nd place team finish. Gili is already a member of our high school math circle, due to qualifying for AIME last year. She also participated in Zubin Mukerjee's satellite math circle before joining our high school group. Prior to that, she was a member of satellite math circle mentored by Matthew Babbitt and Zubin's older brother Zagreb. Her teammate Alex Cao, who ranked in the top 20, has been an active member in our middle school math circle meets for the past two years.
Third place team: Van Antwerp Middle School
Student coach Jason Xu and his assistant Suman Padhi coached the successful VA team, which had two students participating in Countdown: Alexander Wei (4th place individual) and Andrei Akhmetov (13th place individual.) Their teammate Jason Tang also made the top 20.
Fourth place team: Home Educators Enrichment Group
Student coach Matthew Babbitt and his assistant Jien Ogawa coached this team, which did a superb job on the team round. Team captain Isaac Smith made the Countdown Round in 12th place and his teammate Philip White also made the top 20.
Fifth place team: Acadia Middle School
Student coach Felix Sun coached the Acadia team, as well as Koda Middle School. Three of the team members made the Countdown Round: Jerry Qu (8th place writtens), Joe Lou (7th place writtens), and Phillip Sun, first place writtens.
Sixth place team: Iroquois Middle School
Iroquois student coaches were Aniket Tolpadi and Elizabeth Parizh. Team member Gideon Schmidt made the Countdown Round, while his teammates Rocket Ruona and Patrick Chi also made the top 20. Gideon, Rocket, and Patrick have all been members of our middle school math circle. Patrick has also been a regular at Zubin Mukerjee's satellite math circle in Guilderland.
Seventh place team: Hebrew Academy of the Capital District (HACD)
The HACD team is coached by Albany Area Math Circle advisor Alexandra Schmidt. Many of the HACD students have been participating in our math circle's fall math meets. Team member Zachary Benson qualified for the Countdown Round with a 9th place rank on individuals. For reasons of Sabbath observance, HACD students took the contest earlier in the week. HACD deserves special recognition for the awesome participation rates: their school is very small, with only 50 students in combined enrollment in all three eligible grades (6/7/8) but fully one-third of Hebrew Academy students in those grades are active and enthusiastic participants in their school MATHCOUNTS program! HACD mathletes celebrated afterwards with a party at their MATHCOUNTS coach's home. Her prodigious talents include the ability to make hot fudge and caramel sauce from scratch! (Click on the photo below for a clearer image of the mathletes' delighted expressions!)
A special shout-out to the newest team, Hackett Middle School from Albany City School District, which placed a very respectable 12th out of 21 teams, an awesome performance for a first outing for a brand new team that only started up in January.
The team's student coach was Hilly Adler, a student at Albany High School who is a former mathlete from Hebrew Academy. Hilly worked in concert with Hackett Middle School teacher coach Tamara Moffett. There were many bureaucratic obstacles to getting a team off the ground in a large urban school district. Kudos to Albany Area Math Circle advisor Alexandra Schmidt for supporting Hilly in being tenacious to make this team happen, and in providing advice about team coaching.
Shout-outs as well to Doyle Middle School coach Nancy Smith, whose team placed 10th. Nancy is a dedicated and experienced veteran coach whose students have recently begun participating in our middle school math meets. There are many challenges in coaching an inner city school team, and Nancy meets them all energetically. Several of her teams have gone to state and two of her mathletes have made it all the way to nationals. Nancy has recently started up an exciting and creative new outreach initiative to elementary schools in her district, bringing enthusiastic young mathletes to solve problems together even before they reach middle school.
Top 20 individuals
1. Phillip Sun Acadia
2. Gili Rusak Shaker
3. William Wang Farnsworth
4. Alex Wei Van Antwerp
5. Bill Dong Farnsworth
6. Noah Rudnick Shaker
7. Joe Lou Acadia
8. Jerry Qu Acadia
9. Zachary Benson Hebrew Academy of the Capital District
10. Gideon Schmidt Iroquois
11. Alicia Chen Farnsworth
12. Isaac Smith heeg
13. Andrei Akhmetov Van Antwerp
14. Jason Tang Van Antwerp
15. Jeremy Collison Farnsworth
16. Patrick Chi Iroquois
17. Rocket Ruona Iroquois
18. Billy Schmitt Schalmont
19. Phillip White heeg
20. Alex Cao Shaker
Thanks again to GE Global Research for general awesomeness in hosting our Chapter Competition and to all the volunteers who made it possible.
I'd also like to recognize the awesome math circle affiliated adult community volunteers who have helped to organize and coach teams: Bill Babbitt (heeg), Anil Tolpadi and Steve Schmidt (Iroquois), Hong Chen (Van Antwerp). Kudos as well to all the professional math teachers in the Capital District who sponsor teams at their schools. Without the support and leadership of adult sponsoring coaches, none of the 21 teams could have existed, let alone been as successful as they were!