Thursday, December 7, 2006

2005-2006 AAMC Year in Review

The Albany Area Math Circle continued to grow and thrive in its fifth year.

From the original eight students, the group has grown to over 20 students attending our weekly meetings at RPI in 2005-2006. AAMC's intrepid and enthusiastic problem solvers collaboratively solved hundreds of challenging problems in number theory, geometry, probability, algebra, combinatorics, and advanced topics over the course of the year's weekly meetings.

Seasoned veterans mentored eager newcomers, and the intersecting circles of mathematical insight and understanding grew beyond AAMC as many of our members also participated in their school's local math teams or coached teams of younger students outside of math circle.

Captains and senior veterans Beth Schaffer and Drew Besse have done a wonderful job of carrying forward the legacy left by older alumni and there is now an extraordinary new cohort of talented young problem solvers.


In November 2005, 26 students took the AMC8 under AAMC's auspices. Five students received individual scores qualifying for Certificates of Distinction: Andrew Ardito, David Bieber, Schuyler Smith, David Burns, and Anagha Tolpadi. Five students received individual scores qualifying for Honor Roll: Matthew Babbitt, Leah Trouwborst, Luke Trouwborst, Manvi Goyal, and Joel Shapiro. Sixth grader Monil Patel qualified for Merit Roll recognition for young students, as did Matthew Babbitt.

The AMC8 team of Andrew Ardito, David Bieber, and Schuyler Smith received national recognition on the AMC8 School Honor Roll, one of only three teams receiving this honor in New York State.

Andrew Ardito received an award as high scoring individual in New York State on the 2005 AMC8, making the second consecutive year in which AAMC members had won this honor. (Andrew and David Bieber had been NYS individual high scorers the previous year.) Matthew Babbitt's score was the high score for sixth graders in New York.


The AAMC team of Andrew Ardito, Robin Meyers, and David Bieber ranked FOURTH PLACE out of the 156 teams statewide on the MAA/American Mathematics Competitions AMC12B exam.

The AAMC team of Drew Besse, Catherine Miller, and Andrew Ardito ranked 20th out of 122 teams statewide on the AMC12A exam.

Drew's individual score ranked among the top 12 out of 3,656 scores statewide on the 12A exam. Andrew and Robin's individual scores ranked among the top 26 out of 5,617 scores statewide on the 12B exam.

Andrew was the highest scoring 8th grader in the state on both the AMC12A and the AMC12B exams. David Bieber did not take the AMC12A, but he was the second highest scoring 8th grader statewide on the AMC12B exam.

Schuyler Smith was the highest scoring 7th grader in the state on both the AMC12A and the AMC12B.

Matthew Babbitt was the highest scoring 6th grader in the state on the AMC12A and the AMC12B exams.

The following AAMC students qualified for the American Invitational Math Exam (AIME): Andrew Ardito, Anthony Ardito, Drew Besse, David Bieber, Nicole Bieber, David Burns, James Dick, Eugenia Gisin, Yunjee Kang, Stephen Krewson, Soohyun Lim, Robin Meyers, Catherine Miller, Rachel Rudinger, Markus Salasoo, Beth Schaffer, Nan Shan, Schuyler Smith, Anjana Tayi, Anagha Tolpadi, and Luke Trouwborst.

In addition, several students in 10th grade or below received commendation certificates for their AMC12 scores: Matthew Babbitt, Jean Kang, Roshal Patel, Justin Staver, and Leah Trouwborst.

Chapter MathCounts

This year's chapter competition was the biggest ever, with 23 teams and 143 individuals from all over the Capital District. AAMC students and teams coached by AAMC members took many top honors, including 11 of the top 20 individuals and three of the top five teams.

AAMC student MathCounts coaches included Beth Schaffer, Catherine Miller, James Dick, and Stephen Krewson. AAMC parent MathCounts coaches included Eileen Ardito, Anil Tolpadi, and Lembit Salasoo.

Harvard-MIT Math Tournament

This year's competitive field at HMMT was the strongest and biggest on record, but the AAMC teams proved once again that the whole can be stronger than the sum of the parts! The A team (Andrew, Anthony, Drew, David, Nicole, Soo, Robin, Beth) took 8th place in the GUTS round and 9th place in Team Sweepstakes. The B team ( Eugenia, Rachel, Markus, Nan, Anjana, Melissa plus 2 non-AAMC students assigned by the HMMT organizers) took 8th place team in their division. Drew Besse received 8th place individual honors in Combinatorics. Andrew Ardito, David Bieber, and Drew Besse tied for first place in the Logic Puzzles mini-event.


We had a record group of over 20 AIME qualifiers this year. Four students received especially commendable AIME honor roll scores: Andrew Ardito (8), Drew Besse (7), David Bieber (6), and Beth Schaffer (8).


We had a record number of AAMC members participating in the New York State finals of MathCounts. Four of the top seven mathletes at the MathCounts state finals were AAMC students (Andrew Ardito, David Bieber, Schuyler Smith, and Eric Wang.) Given that the Albany area is only a very small percentage of the state population, that is a truly extraordinary record! Two additional AAMC members finished among the top 25 (Felix Sun and Matthew Babbitt.) Schuyler and Felix were seventh graders. Matthew's performance was particularly noteworthy and very promising as he was only a 10 year-old sixth grader at the time.


For the second consecutive year, the AAMC team won first place in division B at NYSML. This year's competition was significantly harder than the previous year's test, but AAMC's team score represented a much larger margin over the rest of the division than the previous year. It is entirely appropriate that the AAMC team will compete in division A next year. AAMC will be the only upstate NY team competing in division A in 2007.

Students on our NYSML team included: Andrew Ardito, Anthony Ardito, Matthew Babbitt, Drew Besse, Eugenia Gisin, Jean Kang, Yunjee Kang, Soohyun Lim, Catherine Miller, Rachel Rudinger, Markus Salasoo. Beth Schaffer, Nan Shan, Eric Wang, and Melissa Wu. Alternate members were: Swapna Arora, Paul Rapoport, and Hyeon Soh.


Andrew Ardito became the third member in AAMC history to qualify for the USA Math Olympiad. This is even more remarkable since he was only an eighth grader at the time.


Two Albany Area Math Circle members, Andrew Ardito and David Bieber constituted half of the four-person NYS MathCounts team representing our state at the National Competition in Arlington Virginia in May. Before they left for nationals, the Albany Times Union ran a photo-story about the two boys. The photo above by Times Union photographer James Goolsby accompanied reporter Kelly Vadney's article, Math Talents Add Up to State's Best.

In his third trip to Nationals and second trip to National Countdown, Andrew blazed through the countdown round till he reached an incredibly exciting and breathtakingly close final round. In 2nd place after a very tight final head-to-head against the eventual winner.

Andrew won a $6,000 college scholarship as well as a $3,000 scholarship to attend the 2006 Awesome Math summer program.

In addition, Andrew and the other top national finalists made a trip to the White House for presidential congratulations.

Both Andrew and David came back with many wonderful memories, new friends, TI calculators, and lots of state pins traded from mathletes all over the country. As well, both of them have learned amazing amount of math and developed their problem-solving skills during the course of the past three years.

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