Saturday, September 25, 2010

Princeton University Math Contest (PUMaC)

Albany Area Math Circle plans to participate in PUMaC again this year. This is a very challenging and exciting experience run by the undergraduate math students at Princeton University each year since 2006.

(It's exciting that two of our alumni are now undergraduate students at Princeton. Both Andrew Ardito and Dave Bieber participated in PUMaC throughout their high school years, and I'm sure they and all the students involved are eager to draw on their experiences to contribute their ideas to make this year's contest even better.)

Albany Area Math Circle teams have done very well in the past, and we plan to send two teams this year.

More information about PUMaC is available here.

Here are the key dates that Albany Area Math Circle students need to keep in mind for PUMaC:

As soon as possible, email me at to let me know of your interest, even if you are not yet entirely sure of your schedule and ability to commit. We'll be happy to answer questions and to put your parents in touch with other parents whose students are considering going so they can discuss possible carpools and hotel-room sharing arrangements, etc. among themselves.

Sunday October 10: Deadline to inform me of a firm commitment to participate.

Saturday November 13 through November 19: Power Round of PUMaC All 8-person teams will work collaboratively during this time to solve and write up solutions to a multipart Power Round problem. Math circle students will do this collaboration mostly via Internet, and it's important that students who sign up for PUMaC make sure they will have time to work on the problems during this period and contribute to the solution and writeup.

Saturday November 20: All day on-site contest at Princeton University. The Power Round will be turned in at the beginning of the day. The remaining rounds (Individual Subject Tests and collaborative Team Round Test) will take place this day, along with a number of just-for-fun "Mini-Events" that don't count toward the final team ranking (Math Bowl, Rubiks Cube, Useless Math Olympiad, Chess, etc.)

For more information, you may want to talk to students who have gone in the past about their experiences. Veterans from last year who have already notified me of their enthusiastic plans to return this year are: Matthew Babbitt, Gurtej Kanwar, Zubin Mukerjhee, and Jay White. Ashley Cho is also definitely going. Once we have the team composition settled, we will hold a preliminary organizational meeting to help our first-time participating students prepare to make the most of this exciting opportunity.

I have created a special google groups email discussion list for Albany Area Math Circle students who are possibly interested in going to PUMaC this year. Even if you are not sure if you can go yet, you are welcome to join the group to find out more about preparing for PUMaC. Email me as soon as possible if you are interested in PUMaC for this year and I'll add you to the list.

UPDATE: See comments below for questions and answers from math circle students about how PUMaC is going to work.

1 comment:

Mary O'Keeffe said...

Question from an interested student: I was wondering, what is the requirements for the power round during November 13-19? Do we meet someplace every day, or do we just work from home? Also, if we work from home, do we need to all be online at the same time or can we work whenever we have spare time?

Answer You can all work from home, and you don't all need to be on-line at the same time. We will have something like a google document that you can open whenever you have time to see what other students on your team have done, and you can contribute your work when it's convenient for you.