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INDIANA: Mathletes compete in Math Madness

by By LUCY BUJDOS, Gazette Student News Reporter on November 22, 2013 10:50 AM

Each year, a group of mathematically intellectual students at Indiana Area Senior High School joins the Math Club.

This year the Math Club has been expanded to include a weekly competitive event called Math Madness.

[PHOTO: Wei-Wei Wu, a senior at Indiana Area Senior High School and a member of the Math Club, rushed to complete an equation before time expired during a recent Math Madness competition. (Jacob Zilinskas/Indiana Area Senior High School photo)]

Led by math teacher Scott Layden, the students meet each Thursday in the library to either scrimmage or compete.

Upon arrival for a competition, mathletes log on to a program called Interstellar. Competitors must answer 10 questions in 30 minutes. Indiana competes against schools across the country.

Participants answer questions based on several different mathematical categories.

Each category is the average score of the Top 5 students, Top 15 and Top 30. Since Indiana has such a large number of students on the team, they have the potential to score points in each category, an advantage not shared by smaller schools.

The team consists of six seniors, nine juniors, 10 sophomores and even seven junior high school students who are consistently a part of the team.

Sophomore Brendon Curry participates as an avid mathlete.

“My favorite part about being on the math team is being with a group of people that show a passion and understanding of math,” said Curry.

So far, Indiana has an undefeated season and will be competing in the playoffs in the upcoming months.

With no doubt, the Math Madness students agree that their best memory was when they were down by less than one point in a game.

Everyone had already answered and completed questions, except for junior Payton Smith, who had one more to finish, which would determine the outcome of the match.

He couldn’t decide which answer to pick with so little time left, so junior Cole Rosenberger shouted to him from across the room, “Try C!”

Ironically, the answer was correct and the room erupted in cheers as the team won yet another match.

As far as how well the team will do the rest of the season, junior Paul Birch replied, “The Math Madness competition has been really tough. … But one (outcome) is consistent — Indiana domination.”

It is clear that the competitions are fun and suspenseful, considering junior Tashi Bharathan said her favorite component of being on the team is that “the competitions are always to the .02 points and each second counts.”

Seeing as how well-rounded this group of students is, it is clear the math team will come through with a substantial amount of wins this season.

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