by Finnan Gammell
This past Wednesday, East Greenwich sent six vivacious mathletes (Saloni Jain, Julia Xu, Mara Oancea, Joe Ruff, Troy Caron, and Finan Gammell) to compete at the Rhode Island Math League State Playoffs. To qualify for the state competition, East Greenwich needed to be among the top eleven scoring teams for the regular season rounds. EG was not only top eleven, but third in the state! With this, qualifying teams are able to send six competitors to represent their school, each member participating in four out of the six “rounds” of testing. The rounds are as follows, Arithmetic/Number Theory/Matrices, Probability and Statistics, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Misc. Math (colloquially referred to as “Kitchen Sink”). Each round consists of three math problems of progressing difficulty, and thus of progressing point value. The first question is worth one point, the second is worth two points, and the third is worth three points. In addition to the individual rounds, four mathletes cooperate in a “Team Round” to answer as many of the five questions it consists of. Each question is worth two points. Furthermore, there is another round referred to as the “Relay,” in which four mathletes are provided questions to solve independently, but the questions utilize variables assigned to the answers they will receive from the person ahead of them in the relay. Each member’s answer is passed down to the next person in the relay on a small square of paper, with the last member’s answer determining points won. Although, teams rarely score in the Relay round. With each of these rounds, the schools compete for as many points as possible!
Before the meet began, a few regular season awards were presented to the teams. East Greenwich was awarded a participation plaque for qualifying for states, as well as individual awards to seniors Saloni Jain and Julia Xu. Saloni placed 2nd overall in the state for her cumulative score in the regular season rounds, and was top senior in the state. Similarly, Julia Xu placed 8th overall in the state for her cumulative score in the regular season rounds. After this initial award ceremony, the competition commenced!
After the very first round of the meet, East Greenwich was actually in first place! Though, the playing field returned to its expected placements at approximately rounds three or four. However, Portsmouth made a run for third in the sixth individual round, when they passed out East Greenwich by four points! This would have been quite the upset considering East Greenwich was third in the state for the regular season rounds (by quite a bit might I add), while Portsmouth was sixth! Fortunately, East Greenwich was able to reel Portsmouth in after the team round, making up the four point margin to tie for third. With this, the award winning standings were as follows, Barrington in 1st, Wheeler in 2nd, and East Greenwich and Portsmouth tied for 3rd. Because the RIML organizers had not anticipated a tie, East Greenwich and Portsmouth agreed to split the awards, with East Greenwich taking the team trophy, and Portsmouth taking the team medals. There is a possibility that the tied teams will receive their missing awards, but it is uncertain as of now. Regardless, the East Greenwich math team had a fantastic showing at the RIML State Playoffs, and hope to do the same next year. Additionally, their coach Mr. Shaw should receive huge recognition for his efforts in preparing the mathletes for State Playoffs!
If you are a student at East Greenwich High School and are interested in joining the Math Team, pay attention to the Math Team trifold at next year’s club fair, or contact Mr. Shaw, the Math Team advisor. It’s a whole lot of fun for any math enthusiast!