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Mathletics competitors ‘working together to try to do better’

Mike Jaquays
Staff writer
Posted 10/18/22

“The sum of two numbers is 20. The product of the same two numbers is also 20. Find the sum of the squares of the numbers.”

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Mathletics competitors ‘working together to try to do better’


HAMILTON — “The sum of two numbers is 20. The product of the same
two numbers is also 20. Find the sum of the squares of the numbers.”

Word questions like these, and number questions as well, challenged some 150 students from 11 districts Saturday morning as they met for the first Mathletics meet of the season at the Hamilton Central School. It was also their first in-person Mathletics meet since the start of the pandemic, added event host and Hamilton team advisor Susan Lehmann.

In addition to the Hamilton team, students from Camden, Canastota, Clinton, New Hartford, Oneida, Oriskany, Stockbridge Valley, Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, Westmoreland and Whitesboro competed Saturday.

The New Hartford team finished first in Division A, followed by Vernon-Verona-Sherrill and then Whitesboro. In Division B, Stockbridge Valley finished first, followed by Camden and then Oriskany. Divisions are based on school size, with larger schools in Division A and smaller schools in Division B.

“This is our first meet back in person and I really like that we can all come in here together to talk about math,” said New Hartford team member and high school senior David Fenner. “We are just a group of students working together to try to do better.”

New Hartford also saw the sole perfect 10 scores of the meet from ninth grader Vincent Lin and 12th grader Arpan Dasgupta. The team is co-advised by high school math teachers Carrie Tinker and Matt Romanow.

“We are thrilled for our students and hope this win now will mean even more students will join Mathletics,” Romanow said.

“It is great to see our students so excited about doing this,” added Tinker, who said they brought 21 students to the meet.

The meets have three sections: the first is a 45-minute individual 10-question test; the second is a 20-minute group activity where the whole team gets to pool its brain power to solve a math puzzle; and the final task is a set of four five-minute relay race-style contests where students sit in a row of five seats.

In the relay, the first student finds his or her answer to a problem and passes solely that number back. The next student inputs that figure into his or her own question to come up with the number for the following student to use. This process continues to the fifth and final seat for the final answer.

There are six meets altogether in this year’s schedule, with the following meets coming up at Oriskany, Proctor, Canastota, Camden and Westmoreland this season.

Westmoreland team advisor Nick Darrah has worked on putting the Mathletics test questions together for 18 years, he said. It was great for everyone to be back together this year, he said.

Darrah noted that Mathletics meets can be just as competitive as any school sport for many of the student mathletes.

“We might have a senior who has been chasing a perfect 10 score or team members who just want to do better than they did before,” he explained.

And for anyone still scratching their heads about the answer to the math brain teasing sample, it is 360.

Lehmann said she especially enjoys watching all of the students work together on their group question. Voluntarily giving up a Saturday morning to go to school certainly says a lot about the student’s dedication, Lehmann added.

“It’s just pretty impressive any time you can get kids out on a Saturday morning to do math,” she said.


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