Saturday, December 12, 2009

Congratulations to our AMC8 students

Scores of mathematically strong, enthusiastic, and courageous students from middle schools coached by Albany Area Math Circle student coaches and/or who are members of Albany Area Math Circle's middle school math circle took the AMC8 contest at one of the following three locations: Hebrew Academy of the Capital District, Iroquois Middle School, and Van Antwerp Middle School.

We would like to recognize the students who achieved national honors from the Mathematical Association of America's American Mathematics Competitions, the sponsor of the contest. Their names will be listed in a national honor summary book to be published next year.

Six Albany Area middle school students achieved National Honor Roll of Distinction scores. Their scores of 20 or above on this year's contest placed them among the top 1% of an already exceptional and self-selected pool of students nationwide who took the contest across the country.

Jien Ogawa Home Educators Enrichment Group (23)
Gili Rusak Shaker Junior High score (23)
Matt Gu Farnsworth Middle School score (22)
Aniket Tolpadi Iroquois Middle School (22)
William Wang Farnsworth Middle School (21)
Cecilia Holodak Van Antwerp Middle School (20)

Nine Albany Area students made the AMC8 Honor Roll with scores that placed them among the top 5% of an already extremely strong national pool of students taking the contest. This year that honor required a score of 17 to 19 points.

Isaac Malsky Farnsworth Middle School (19)
Chen Qu Acadia Middle School (18)
Alexander Wei Van Antwerp Middle School (18)
Zachary Benson Hebrew Academy of the Capital District (17)
Rajesh Bollapragada Van Antwerp Middle School (17)
Ziqing Dong Farnsworth Middle School (17)
Martin Schreiner Van Antwerp Middle School (17)
Isaac Smith Home Educators Enrichment Group (17)
Vineet Venangula Iroquois Middle School (17)

The students on the two honor lists above have been invited to join our high school students in taking the first NYSML Seasonal Contest this coming Friday.

We are proud of these students and ALL the local students who attempted this very difficult exam, whether or not their scores were honor roll. The contest was especially challenging this year. For some very strong and promising students, it was their very first math contest ever, an exciting chance to "get their feet wet," in a contest math experience. Regardless of scores and honors, Albany Area Math Circle is very proud of all who embraced the challenge this year.

For students who may not have done quite as well as they had hoped, please be assured that there are many more fun opportunities ahead, some of which will be open to all interested middle school students whose parents feel they are ready for more challenges. I will be talking about some of those opportunities at my talk this Thursday evening, December 17, at the Guilderland Public Library at 6:30 p.m.

We also applaud all the schools which offered students the opportunity to participate this year. Iroquois and Van Antwerp offered the AMC8 contest for the first time ever! Hebrew Academy has offered the contest for many years, and was especially gracious in hosting students from other schools which did not offer that opportunity to their students. We hope that even more schools around the Capital District will offer this challenging learning opportunity to their students in the future. Thanks to the principals, teachers, and parents who support those efforts this year, especially Alexandra Schmidt of Hebrew Academy who made outstanding arrangements for her school to host such a large group of math circle students.

We would also like to recognize the student coaches who helped to encourage and prepare students for this opportunity: Zubin Mukerjee and Noah Rubin have both been leading their own satellite middle school math circles in Guilderland serving students from a number of schools. Many of the students who took the AMC8 are also members of the middle school math circle that meets in Niskayuna, where high school students Andrew Ardito, Matthew Babbitt, Zubin Mukerjhee, Felix Sun, and Anagha Tolpadi have been mainstays of the fall coaching staff, taking on strong leadership roles, assisted by a number of other math circle veterans who have also been helping out this fall, including Preston Law, Schuyler Smith, Wyatt Smith, and Ved Tanadve. A number of our veterans have also been serving as the lead student coaches for local MATHCOUNTS teams: Matthew Babbitt for the homeschoolers, Anagha Tolpadi for Iroquois, Dave Bieber for Van Antwerp, and Felix Sun and Eric Wang for the three Shenendahoah middle schools.

Thanks also to adult AAMC volunteer advisors Bill Babbitt, Rita Biswas, and Alexandra Schmidt, as well as MATHCOUNTS parent coaches Kathryn Lesh and Anil Tolpadi for all their support and assistance with our middle school outreach efforts.

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