At this year’s club fair, Wesleyan’s favorite pi-loving, problem-solving team revisited the podium, brandishing their first-place trophy from last year’s state mathematics tournament. The math team is not just a club; they are a close-knit team that competes in many tournaments and often wins. And this year, they are encouraging new recruits to join throughout all the grades.
You can find the math team in Deborah Brown’s classroom in C302 every Thursday during lunch. Brown said, “Club time is divided between different teams and captains. Members get points for attending meetings and those go to their teams’ points. There are general announcements during meetings and practice problems, as well as development upon new strategies for problem-solving.” The attendance is not mandatory, and if any student wants to become more involved in math or is curious about the team, they are welcome to drop in to any of these meetings.
Returning to the math team this year as team captains are seniors Jack Lambert, Ethan Moon, and Daniel Baisier. Other members include juniors Katie Tanner, Dylan Sullenberger, Daniel Woods, Matthew Plunk and Cameron Potter, and sophomores Braden Thorne and Andy Yang. Brown and Corrie Nash are the sponsors for the club. They are not only encouraging a love of math among the teammates, but they have also put in place a program to help the lower schoolers as well so they can grow the middle school program. “If students start learning problem-solving strategies when they are younger, they will be more skilled and competitive in the varsity competitions later on,” said math teacher Nash.
Anticipating future competitions, sophomore Andy Yang said, “I’m most looking forward to going to the state math tournament this year because I’m hoping that we can defend our Class A State Championship.” But winning state was no easy challenge and proves to be competitive in the coming year as well. The road to state entails monthly in-school competitions, six travels, qualifications at Kennesaw State University and finally the national American Math Competition (AMC). Senior Daniel Baisier has been invited to these competitions since freshman year. He said, “I first interacted with the team when I was asked to take the AMC in middle school. I’ve done that same competition every year since.”
If you are interested or find yourself to be remotely talented in mathematics, make sure to stop by Brown’s room any Thursday during lunch. The math team wants everyone to note that your math skill isn’t what qualifies you for the team. Even Baisier, AMC qualifier, said, “In fourth grade my math teacher said I wasn’t that good at math. I’m still trying to disprove her.” Brown said, “The math team isn’t just for people who are good at math. We want anyone who wants to be here. If you love math, we’d love to have you.”