Students claim second place at Mu Alpha Theta National Convention

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This article was written by Angela Lin, class of 2019.

For Mu Alpha Theta students, the whole year is dedicated to achieving their goal of advancing to and winning at the 2018 National Mu Alpha Theta Convention. This year, 39 students competed at the National Mu Alpha Theta Convention in Colorado Springs July 8-13.

The National Convention is similar to the States Convention in judging; however, it differs in some competitions.

Just like like the state level, there are three divisions, Mu, Alpha and Theta, each comprised of different types of math. Freshmen (Theta) compete in Geometry and Algebra 2, sophomores (Alpha) compete in Pre-calc and juniors and seniors (Mu) compete in Calculus and Statistics. Each student must take an individual test and topic tests that relate to their division. The individual test consists of 30 multiple choice questions that students have to answer in an hour. The topic tests are formatted the same as the individual test. However, students take three topic tests based on which division they are in. Each division has six topics students can choose from including integration in Mu, complex numbers in Alpha, and functions in Theta. Open topics, such as history of math, are available for Alpha and Mu students. Students also had to take the ciphering test which consists of ten free response questions, each question with a three minute limit.

Students can also participate in other competitions such as individual relay (a 75 minute test with 30 free-response problems, grouped as five relays of six questions each), mental math, speed math, chalk talk, poster and scrapbook. The chalk talk competition consists of a seven-minute presentation on an assigned subject, different for each division, that uses math in real-world applications. This year’s topics were Math and Forestry for Theta, Math and Geography for Alpha, and Math and Geology for Mu.

To prepare, students went to practice every Saturday where they completed an individual test, a ciphering round, and a team round. They completed their weekly homework which consisted of individual and topic tests from past years, as well as practice state hustle rounds.

The team took on their rival Buchholz High School, which they beat last year at Nationals. The team took home second place in Sweepstakes, their overall score, as Buchholz High School reclaimed their title. However, this doesn’t deter them from working harder next year. Mu, Alpha and Theta placed 2nd overall in their division.

“I think getting second definitely showed us that there is always room for improvement. I think now we all know that each of us needs to be able to support our own weight, and all of us can make an impact. I think this will push the team even harder,” said junior Daniel Block, who competed in the Alpha division at nationals. Block earned three perfect scores, one in Alpha Matrices and Vectors, one in Alpha Polar Coordinate Systems and one in Alpha Gemini. Gemini is a competition where two students who did not qualify for the four-person bowl team take an individual test together.

2018 Mu Alpha Theta National Convention

Sweepstakes Scores

Place School Total
1 Buchholz High School 7,294
2 American Heritage – Plantation 7,160
3 Vestavia Hills High School 6,112
4 Cypress Bay High School 5,857
5 American Heritage – Boca/Delray 5,830
Plantation Perfect Scores Topic
Saaketh Vedantam Open Number Theory
Saaketh Vedantam Mu Sequences and Series
Daniel Block Alpha Polar Coordinate System
Daniel Block            Alpha Matrices and Vectors
Daniel Block Alpha Gemini
Vlad Oleksenko Mu Comprehensive
Daniel Sarnecki Mu Area & Volume
Gabriel Diraviam         Mu Limits & Derivatives
Surya Vedula               Alpha Gemini
Placings Number of Times
Top 10 120
First Place 24
Second Place 23
Third Place 12
School Ranking Events
2 Sweepstakes
1 Hustle School Record
3 Math Poster School Record
2 Mu School Bowl
2 Alpha School Bowl
2 Theta School Bowl
2 Mu Division
2 Alpha Division
2 Theta Division
Rank Name Individual Event
1 Jae Young Beck Theta Analytic Geometry
1 Jae Young Beck Theta Functions
1 Jae Young Beck Theta Relay
2 Jae Young Beck Theta Individual
2 Jae Young Beck Theta Matrices
2 Jae Young Beck Theta Ciphering
1 Saaketh Vedantam Mu Sequences and Series
1 Saaketh Vedantam Mu Ciphering
1 Saaketh Vedantam Open Mental Math
2 Saaketh Vedantam Mu Individual
2 Saaketh Vedantam Open Number Theory
1 Connor Gordon Alpha Analytic Geometry
1 Connor Gordon Alpha Relay
1 Connor Gordon Alpha Individual
2 Connor Gordon Alpha Sequences & Series
3 Connor Gordon Alpha Ciphering
1 Arnav Kumar Alpha Complex Numbers
2 Arnav Kumar Alpha Systems of Equations
2 Arnav Kumar Alpha Ciphering
3 Arnav Kumar Alpha Individual
3 Arnav Kumar Alpha Relay
1 Vlad Oleksenko Open Counting & Probability
1 Vlad Oleksenko Mu Comprehensive
1 Vlad Oleksenko Mu Relay
2 Vlad Oleksenko Open Proofs & Logic
1 Max Ranis Mu Integration
1 Max Ranis Mu Applications
3 Max Ranis Mu Individual
1 Gabriel Diraviam Mu Differential Equations
1 Gabriel Diraviam Mu Limits & Derivatives
3 Gabriel Diraviam Mu BC Calculus
1 Daniel Block Alpha Polar Coordinate System
2 Daniel Block Alpha Matrices and Vectors
1 Daniel Sarnecki Mu Area & Volume
3 Daniel Sarnecki Mu Applications
2 Emily Namm Open Shortcuts
2 Emily Namm Open Codes & Ciphers
2 Kishan Patel Mu Differential Equations
3 Kishan Patel Mu Gemini
3 Vasisht Ganesh Theta Relay
3 Vasisht Ganesh Theta Logs/Exponents/Radicals
1 Surya Vedula Alpha Gemini
1 Kevin Yeung Open Codes & Ciphers
1 Iris Lang Theta 2-D Geometry
2 Joanne Haner Alpha Chalk Talk
2 Kevelya Koppa Alpha Applications
2 Shreyas Sama Theta Logs/Exponents/Radicals
2 Albert Lu Theta Gemini
3 Carol Jiang Alpha Systems of Equations

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