December has been a great month for Harker math students, who’ve been performing very well in annual math competitions.
Last week, Harker took first place nationwide in Interstellar’s Math Madness finals at the high school level. Middle school mathematicians also performed very well, with their team placing in the top 10 nationally. The competition, which comprised more 25,000 middle and high school contestants, was conducted through the Interstellar Web application, which allows teachers to create teams of students representing their schools and compete against other schools either by inviting them to compete or by entering events organized by Interstellar. Students had been competing since the September opening rounds, which separated schools into various divisions. Harker ended up in the Division I bracket at both the middle and upper school levels, with the upper school defeating University High School of Irvine to take first place. The middle school narrowly lost to Raymond J. Grey Junior High in Acton, Mass., who went on to win first place.
During the first week of December, National Assessment and Testing announced that Harker placed second in two national math contests. Upper school math teacher Anuradha Aiyer acted as coach for the two contests, each of which contained 100 problems that had to be solved in a half-hour. The Fall Startup contest had students solving problems on their own, while the Team Scramble allowed students to work as a group to solve tougher problems. The division in which each student competed corresponded to their grade level.
Harker’s placing was highlighted by several standout individual efforts. Grade 9 students Katherine Tian and Rose Guan placed 11th and 17th, respectively, in the ninth grade division. Sophomore Swapnil Garg took first place in the 10th grade division, where Rajiv Movva placed sixth and Joanna Lin placed eighth. David Zhu took 25th place in the 11th grade division. Finally, Richard Yi earned first place in the 12th grade division, in which Allison Wang took fourth place and Lawrence Li finished 23rd.