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LGHS Math Club Encourages Math Education

By: Angela Sheu

Local Editor

The LGHS Math Club is making all kinds of math more accessible to LGHS students. Whether you want to sharpen your competition skills, learn about how the subject is used in the real world, or receive help on your homework, the club is open to all students who want to learn about math in any form.

Club president and senior Om Shastri leads club meetings alongside vice presidents Richie Tan and Leison Gao, who are also seniors. They often begin with presenting math concepts found in competition math. Shastri explained, “We begin with an interactive session where a student will present a topic for the first 10 to 20 minutes of tutorial. Then we have a problem set for students to try. It’s very collaborative and open.” According to Tan, they often use “practice problems from AOPS [Art of Problem Solving],” which allows students to master real competition math skills. Some recent presentation topics have included modular arithmetic and topology.

In addition, the club hosts and competes in math competitions. Their first competition will be the Berkeley Math Tournament on Nov. 5. Outlining the competition format, Shastri summarized, “There’s an individual component, but there’s also a team component, which is really nice because each member of the team can kind of focus on a specific math concept…and basically tackle two different problems at once.” Another upcoming math competition is the American Math Competition (AMC), in which students must individually answer questions. Those who score well on the AMC can qualify to take subsequent tests on national and international levels.

The club officers also plan to host guest speakers at their meetings. For instance, an astronomer will visit in November, presenting the math behind astronomy and tracking star movement. Gao reflected, “the goal is to show people the real applications of math, instead of just learning trig and not knowing what to do with it.” Shastri concurred, “it’s really cool to see the different applications [of math] in different unique industries like astronomy and cybersecurity. That really gives students an idea of why they’re learning math and what they can do with it in the future.”

Math Club also welcomes students who need help in their math class or with their homework and hosts occasional study sessions to provide help.

Shastri concluded that, “the message that Math Club brings is that we’re open to anybody. If you’re struggling with math, there’s a place for you. If you want to expand upon your math classes and jump into competition math, there’s a place for you. If you want to hang out and chill and do a couple of math problems, there’s also a place for you.”

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