Thursday, April 8, 2010

Albany Area Math Circle students: NYSML information

We are inviting a few excellent students from our area to fill out our Albany Area Math Circle Tetrahedra and Octahedra teams to full strength. Here is some basic guidance and orientation for them. Veterans and team leaders, please read this as well and be prepared to fill in the gaps so all students on your team can have an outstanding experience at NYSML!

A brief outline of the day:

7 a.m. to 8:15 Campus Center Food Court Plan to arrive before 8 to check in with your team leadership, which will be sitting at the round table at the base of the steps leading down to the basement Food Court.

8:15 Go upstairs to the ballroom for the opening assembly. Teams have assigned seating areas. Look for your team signs and the light blue shirts and sit with your team!

8:30 to 8:45 Opening Assembly

8:45 to 8:55 Teams travel with their campus guides and team proctors to their assigned classroom for the Team and Power Rounds. Albany will be dismissed first, because its teams will have the furthest to travel to their assigned rooms. Albany A and Albany Octahedra are on the second floor of Social Sciences building. Albany Tetrahedra will be on the first floor of Social Sciences.

9-10:30 Team and Power Rounds. For these two rounds, the entire 15-person team works together. Each 15-person team has a classroom to itself. You may use the whiteboard or chalkboard. On the Team Round, your team will have 20 minutes to solve 10 problems with answers in short order format. On the Power Round your team will have 1 hour to solve a multipart problem. In the Power Round, your answers will be lengthy. In some cases, you will need to show your work in clear detail. In other cases, you will need to provide a proof. Less experienced students usually work on the earlier parts of the Power Round, which are more computational in nature. More experienced students usually work on the more difficult proofs in the middle and later part of the Power Round. Everyone has something to contribute!

Time to walk over to the gym for Individual and Relay Rounds. This is a good time to eat a snack or drink from your water bottle as you walk.

10:50-12:30 For these rounds, you will be sitting on bleachers using a lapboard or clipboard.

Individuals are like Targets from MATHCOUNTS, because you get one pair of questions at a time. But they are much harder! Don't be discouraged. Advice for new students: look over BOTH problems before you start working. For a new student, getting even one problem right is an accomplishment, so don't rush through both of them. Better to do one of them thoroughly and carefully, checking your work, than to rush through both and get them both wrong.

Relays--for more information about relays, see this post from last year.

After Relays, you will be dismissed to walk over to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, where you will be treated to a great talk on nanotechnology by Prof. LaBella, followed by an excellent lunch.

Then back to the Campus Center for the Closing Assembly, which includes Buzz, Tiebreaks, and Awards. That closing assembly should run 2:10 to 3:30 and your parents are welcome to watch!

A few more important notes:

Whether you are a veteran or a first-timer, please read the contest rules here:

and also read this important information:

If you are first-timer, please make a note of the things that are confusing to you and ask a veteran to explain it on Saturday morning before the meet starts (or ask a vet by email.)

Don't worry about the things that are completely over your head. If you haven't learned trig yet, just plan to skip over those questions, and spend your time on other questions that might be more accessible to you.

If you are a veteran, think about the rules and conventions that were confusing to you and make sure you have thought about how to explain them to newer students.

Things to bring: pencils, erasers, water bottle, snacks

Things to LEAVE HOME: your calculator! NYSML is a calculator-free zone!

Things to wear: layers (you never know about the weather/climate control), comfortable walking shoes, and your light blue team t-shirt. Wear your light blue Albany Area Math Circle t-shirt. If you don't have one, email Mr. Babbitt to let him know your size and we'll have one waiting for you with your team captain.

Thing to remember: Most importantly--encourage your teammates! The problems are hard--it's easy to get discouraged, especially when you realize you made a silly mistake
(as all of us do!)

Remember my motto: Have a good time! Make some new math friends! Share some Aha! experiences and cool insights you got between rounds. Celebrate your mistakes and learn from them.

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