LRHS prepares for Duke Math Meet


Leesville students are preparing for the annual Duke Math Meet, which will be held on November 13, 2010 at Duke University.

The Duke Math Meet is a regional mathematics competition sponsored by the Duke University Mathematics Union.  The contest attracts the top math students and teams from all across the country.

Do Won Cha, a sophomore, plans to gain experience for future events.  “I got so lucky getting on the team.  I just want to get a feeling for the atmosphere, and I’ll have two more chances to win this thing.”

Mark Conrad, a senior, will technically be attending the Duke Math Meet for the second time in his career.  “Two years ago, I signed up for this, but I forgot to go.  I remember I let my team down because we couldn’t get any group points, and we ended up getting third to last place.”  Conrad hopes to place in the top 30.

This year, the team plans to prepare intensely for the event in order to meet expectations.  For the next three weeks, they will participate in mock speed workouts and practice proving popular theorems.

The competition format consists of five rounds, which include both team and individual rounds. So far, the team has been training by recreating the competition environment and practicing solving formulas. Teams earn the bulk of their points from the first two team rounds.  After hurting Leesville’s chances two years ago, Conrad hopes to compete and place better this year.  “I hoping we can turn things around this time.”

Phillip Langley, a senior, will be competing in a mathematics competition for the first time.  “Yeah, I’m mainly doing this to boost up my resume.  At the same time, I guess I can try to win.”

The meet also features a Devil round where students can form groups with kids from other schools and get to know the community.

“I heard there’s like a ten to one Asians to other races ratio, so I’m really excited about what’s going to happen,” said Langley.  “It costs ten dollars for each member to register, but we also get free T-shirts and Jimmy John’s, so I’m looking forward to those things too.”

The team is also interested in attending the Princeton Math Competition held in January, and they hope to use the Duke Math Meet as a stepping stone.  “The PuMac is definitely crazy, probably the top competition in the nation,” said Conrad.  “If we do good here [Duke Math Meet], then we will definitely register for the PuMac and head into it with confidence.”

Conrad also wishes that competing well at the Duke Math Meet will help spread the popularity of the team.  “We need more people for other competitions, and the more the people, the better.”

“I’m hoping by competing in the Duke Math Meet we can effectively represent Leesville to the community and establish ourselves as a math powerhouse in the region.”


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