Sunday, March 28, 2010

NYSML on Saturday April 10

Albany Area Math Circle is proud and honored to be the host team for the New York State Math League (NYSML) annual state championship math meet to be held on Saturday April 10, 2010 at the University at Albany.

We'll provide an overview of the day's events here:

7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Teams from all over the state arrive at UAlbany's uptown campus. Detailed directions are available here. Buses and cars can drop students off at the Collins Circle main entrance (the big circular main driveway shown below).

Here's a nifty-looking building you'll see near where the buses drop you off that can help you to orient yourself on a campus where there are many deceptively similar buildings and a great deal of symmetry. (We won't actually be using this building, but it's a useful landmark, since it's distinctive and near the bus stop. It's building #15 on the map.) If you're curious about the unusual wavy mirrored design of this environmentally designed building, you can read more about it here.

Students and coaches should proceed immediately on foot to the Campus Center (shown as the blue triangle on the map above.) This will be the headquarters for the entire day: opening and closing ceremonies will happen here and the grading process and coaches meeting will also happen in this building. Here's what the Campus Center looks like:

Teams arriving between 7 and 8 a.m. will be able to purchase continental breakfast items in the Campus Center food court and can enjoy socializing with other teams from around the state while their coaches check in their teams at the registration area on the top level. (Coaches should place orders in advance for their teams if they want to take advantage of this option. Details on how to do so are below.) Weather permitting they may enjoy the enclosed garden court seating area adjacent to the food court, but there's also lots of comfortable indoor seating area as well.

By 8:15 coaches and students should be getting seated in assigned areas in the ballroom on the top level of the Campus Center. All students are asked to sit in specifically designated areas so your campus guides can easily lead you to your next location.

8:30 Opening Ceremony in the Ballroom officially begins on the top level of the Campus Center

8:45 Teams are dismissed in a particular order to accompany their guides to their assigned classrooms for Team and Power Rounds. The assigned classrooms are in three buildings: Education, Humanities, and Social Sciences, all close to the Campus Center as you can see below.

The room numbering system and floor layout is a bit confusing, so please make sure to stay with your assigned guides. Your team sign will be a big help in making sure you and your guide manage to stay together, so please make sure to bring it with you.

When a team reaches its assigned classroom, you will see a sign on the classroom door welcoming the team by name. The Team Captain should sign the door sign in the designated place. The Team Proctor assigned to the team should also sign the door in the designated place. That way the Zone Proctor will easily be able to check that all rooms have Team Proctors, and everyone will know the names of the key people involved.

9:00 Team Round Begins--Team proctors will monitor this round.

9:20 Team Round End--Team proctors will collect the Team Round answer sheet/take a brief stretch break/and distribute the Power Round Question to the team, making a note of the time.

Team proctors will report the start time for the Power Round to the Zone Proctor, who will note it on the door sign. Team Proctors will bring the Team Round answers to turn in at the Coaches' Meeting.

9:30 Power Round begins

During the Power Round, Team Proctors will be at the Coaches Meeting in the Campus Center, but Zone Proctors will remain on duty to finish administration of the Power Round.

10:30 Power Round ends Zone proctors will collect Power Round answers from team captains and turn them into the Power Round grading room.

UAlbany student guides will conduct students to the Physical Education building. This is easily a 10 minute walk--a good time to munch on a snack and/or drink some water from your water bottle as you go!

Okay, so now you and your team are in the Physical Education Building, where you will be taking the Individual and Relay Rounds. Your guides will help you find your team's assigned seats quickly. As at Penn State ARML, you will be seated on bleachers, NOT at desks. Each team will need to bring its own lapboards or clipboards for all its team members, so you will have a hard surface to write on!

After relays, it is time to head over to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) for a presentation by Professor Vince LaBella, UAlbany's "Spin Doctor." We are grateful to CNSE for sponsoring NYSML by providing a great speaker as well as lunch at their beautiful new complex.

Here's some information from Prof. Labella's research group's website about their work :

The familiar property of magnetism arises from the spin of the electron or its intrinsic angular momentum. The spin of the electron has tremendous impact far beyond holding artwork to a refrigerator. For example, the skyrocketing increase in storage capacity of modern hard disk drives is fueled by the invention of giant magneto resistive (GMR) read heads. These GMR devices were invented after scientists became familiar with how currents of spin polarized electrons travel (or scatter) in ferromagnetic materials. Researchers are now interested in utilizing the spin of the electron in semiconductor devices for data processing. There is hope that these new spintronic devices will operate at higher speeds and consume less power than conventional devices, helping extend Moore's Law in the post-CMOS era.

Students will be divided into two groups at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering: one group will hear the presentation before lunch and the other will hear the presentation after lunch. Lunch choices will be a turkey or veggie sub.

Following the presentation and lunch, everyone will head back to the Campus Center for Buzz Round, Tiebreaks, Awards, and Closing Ceremony. The plan is to wrap up by 3:30.

Buses can pick students up at Collins Circle, where they dropped them off in the morning, so head back towards the mirrored building pictured at the top and you'll be on your way home, hopefully with many happy mathematical memories of the day and some new math friends as well.

Important advice:

1) Bring snacks and water! Lunch will be on the late side compared to past NYSML schedules, because relays will happen before lunch. Also, there's lot more walking than usual, so you need to keep your energy up.

2) Create a great team sign and bring it with you to help your guides find you and keep you with them. Remember that the Art of Problem Solving has donated $240 in gift certificates which will be awarded to teams with the most mathematically interesting and creative signs.

3) Don't forget the lapboards or clipboards! You will need a hard surface to write on.

4) Umbrellas and waterproof jackets are a good idea in case the weather is less than excellent at some point during the day. You will be spending a lot of time walking around outside.

5) Coaches whose students want to get breakfast at the Campus Center Food Court on Saturday morning should contact Kathleen Straniello at Chartwells to place advance orders. Her email is and her phone number is 518-442-5985.

6) Teams arriving the evening before can purchase dinner at the Campus Center Food Court as well. Wendy's and Zepps will be open until 9 p.m.

Thanks to our sponsors:

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE)

The Bieber Family

UAlbany Undergraduate Admissions

The New York City Math Teachers Circle

Art of Problem Solving

Tough Traveler®

Sustaining Friends and Families of Albany Area Math Circle:

Robert P. Ingalls, Mukkai Krishnamoorthy, Mary O'Keeffe,
Ardito family, Babbitt family, Bieber family, Biswas-Mukerjee family, Hickey family, Guo family, Kaur family, Law family, Lesh-Shreiner family, Liu family, Liu-Gu family, Parizh family, Pelkey family, Reitz family, Scheib-Holodak family, Smith family, Sun family, Tanadve family, Tolpadi family, Wang family, White family

Contributing Families of Albany Area Math Circle:

Buff family, Cao family, Chen family, Foyt family, Hammar family, Hsu family, Ingalls family, Job family, Li family, Magai family, Monteith family, Ogawa family, Parower family, Rapaport family, Richman family, Rubin family, Rusak family, Soedjak family, Wajda family, Xu family

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