Math team formulates fun

Club offers different mathematical perspectives


Tobias Khabie

Junior Denly Lindeman and freshman Julia Lorenzen work on a set of practice problems Dec. 6. The team meets once a week on Mondays to prepare for competitions.

Sophia Curran-Moore

Sophomore Zach Vandermouse-Siteki said math is fun because he likes solving problems. According to Vandermouse-Siteki, math team improves his skills in a way that is enjoyable.

“I joined math team because it is really fun, and because I like math,” Vandermouse-Siteki said. “We go over problems every Monday. I am a problem solver and I like to figure out things.”

Math team advisor Kristin Johnson said the club is a chance to build skills and learn advanced concepts.

“It’s fun to give students who enjoy mathematics an opportunity to see math differently, really work on problem-solving and have a competition event,” Johnson said. “We cover topics that we don’t traditionally teach, so they get new content and get to see things that aren’t normally taught.”

According to junior Asher Shertok, math team is an inclusive space that is open to all levels of expertise.

“When a lot of people hear ‘math team,’ they think you have to be a genius at math, but that’s really not true,” Shertok said. “Even if you’re in ninth grade and you don’t know that much, or if you’re in twelfth grade and you know a lot, there’s really room for everybody.”

Johnson said studying for math competitions is challenging because of the diversity of topics and questions.

“There’s five meets during the year, and each meet has slightly different topics. We usually go over previous years’ tests and take a look at how the questions were asked,” Johnson said. “It requires experience because you’ll never get any two problems that are the same.”

It’s fun to give students who enjoy mathematics an opportunity to see math differently, really work on problem-solving and have a competition event.”

— Kristin Johnson

Vandermouse-Siteki said math team opened his mind to fresh mathematical perspectives.

“You get to know how other people think of different things for math, instead of just thinking of your part of it,” Vandermouse-Siteki said.

Johnson said the team math competition prepares students for collaboration in their futures.

“There’s an individual and there’s a team competition … I definitely see a huge benefit to the team part of the event,” Johnson said. “In almost every job now, there is a team aspect. You have to work together — you have to talk. Being able to problem-solve with each other and communicate what you know is a hugely important skill in life.”

Shertok said he is looking forward to the remaining mathematic competitions because he anticipates improvement in the team’s performance.

“I’m looking forward to finishing strong this season. We’re two events in. We didn’t do horrible, but we’re really trying to step it up,” Shertok said. “A lot of that is getting more people to join math team and maximizing our points in the meets.”

Math team meets at 3:15 p.m. on Mondays in B330. All meetings are open to new members.