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Math Team solves equation to success

By Morgan Seiler
Published: April 2009

The Math Team came in sixth place at the State Tournament in Shrewsbury on April 6, qualifying for the New England Regional Mathematics League finals on May 1 at Canton High School. This is the first time in seven years that the Math Team has qualified to compete in States.

South earned 83 points, three fewer than the fifth place winner. The team barely came in sixth, only five points away from being eliminated.

“All the schools that qualified were good, senior Math Team captain Kenny Lu said. “The top ten schools had really high scores.

Lu felt that the teams’ skill levels were average, but the competition among the top seven schools for the top six spots was tight.

“We barely beat Canton [for the 6th spot], sophomore Hyun Lee said. “We were losing by the end of the individual rounds but came back up during the team round.
Multiple team members described the meet as “intense.

Both sophomore Tony Wang and freshman Sophia Dolan agreed that the team’s biggest weakness was in making “stupid mistakes.

According to Dolan, the team could also improve on their collaboration and participation in the team round.
Members of the team must be familiar with a wide variety of math topics. The questions range from algebra to precalculus.

Schools participating in the meet were classified as either large, medium, or small depending on total student population. South classified as a large school, and the team consisted of eight people. Each member participates in three individual rounds with up to six points that can be earned in each. The final round is a team round, asking more challenging questions that are worth more points.
The Math Team’s next tournament is New England Regionals.

For the past several years, Massachusetts has dominated the tournament, meaning that South’s greatest competitors will be those it has already faced in the State tournament. The competitors include teams from Acton Boxborough, Lexington, Belmont, and Concord Carlisle. The Math Team expects the level of competition at Regionals to be the same as at States.

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