Vermont State Mathematics Coalition Talent Search

The first Vermont State Mathematics Coalition Talent Search problem set has been released! Click here to get started. Don’t wait – solutions must be postmarked no later than November 3, 2017!

These problem sets offer an excellent opportunity for students to challenge their mathematical reasoning and problem solving skills.

From the Vermont State Mathematics Coalition website:

The Vermont State Mathematics Coalition has sponsored a statewide Mathematics Talent Search Program every year since 1993. The Talent Search is conducted in the following manner. Four times during the school year a set of challenging math problems are posted on this website. Topics covered on the tests are from arithmetic, Geometry, algebra, and pre-calculus. Copies of the test are given to interested students at each of the schools. The students have approximately four weeks to solve the problems and then each student submits his/her solutions to the director of the program for grading. If students are only able to solve one or two problems, they are still encouraged to submit their solutions. During the following two week period the tests are scored, statistics are gathered, results are returned to the students, and solutions and top scorers are posted on this website. At the end of the year the top students in the state are given prizes and are honored at a Coalition dinner along with their parents. High school-aged winners are also provided full scholarships to attend the week-long summer Governor’s Institute in Mathematical Sciences in residence at the University of Vermont.

More information about and rules for the talent search may be found here.


SBHS Mathematics Placement Exam

The annual South Burlington High School mathematics placement assessment is scheduled for 8:40 on Tuesday, May 16 at FHT Middle School. We will also be hosting the assessment for students in Georgia on Thursday, May 18 at noon.

The SBHS mathematics placement assessment is meant to determine readiness for Math 1 vs. Math 2. Students who are considering the assessment should talk with their current math teachers and with their parents to help them decide whether or not they should take the assessment. Students who wish to place into Math 2 as a first-year student at South Burlington High school must take the assessment and demonstrate proficiency in all Math 1 focus standards by way of their performance on the assessment.

Continue reading “SBHS Mathematics Placement Exam”

Independent Summer Study in Math

Over the past two months I have had several conversations with students who want to advance their study of mathematics faster than our academic year schedule allows. First, let me say “Kudos!” to those students – we applaud your interest and determination in mathematics. Secondly, I am happy to say that we offer an independent summer study (ISS) option, which is designed to allow students who are passionate about math advance their studies in math.

When a student comes to me to talk about the possibility of ISS for one of our math courses, I always begin by asking why they are considering such action. This is in no way a leading question – I really want to understand the motivation of each student. I also want to know that each student understands their own motivations. Expressing motivations out loud and with a witness present can be an enlightening experience. I then talk about the advantages and disadvantages of ISS. I encourage students to talk with their current math teacher, who should have some insights to offer after working with them for the past year. I encourage students to talk with their parents about their decision – it’s a big one, and parents will most definitely have some insights and wisdom to offer their aspiring mathematicians. Finally, I like to make sure that students are aware and taking full advantage of the different opportunities to engage with mathematics at SBHS. Those opportunities include Math League, the American Mathematics Competitions, the UVM Prize Exam in Mathematics and the Vermont State Mathematics Coalition Talent Search Competition.

Continue reading “Independent Summer Study in Math”

The Results Are In!

We recently received the results from the American Mathematics Competition (which we hosted in February) and the University of Vermont Prize Examination in Mathematics (hosted in March) – and we couldn’t be more impressed with our students!

Ragulan Sivakumar (class of 2020) and Kailey Yang (class of 2019) were South Burlington’s highest- and second-highest performers respectively on the AMC 10 (and school-wide as well). Both students were invited to the next level of the competition, the American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME), which we hosted in late March. Our top performers on the AMC 12 were Gabriel Katz (class of 2017), Carlton Plourde (class of 2018), and Ananth Malladi (class of 2018).

As a result of his performance on the AIME, Ragulan has qualified for the United States of America Junior Mathematical Olympiad (USAJMO). Ragulan’s USAJMO qualification puts him among America’s top math students. The USAJMO is a prestigious event, and only 500 students from the tens of thousands of American Mathematics Competitions participants are invited to take the USAJMO. In other words…this is a BIG DEAL! Ragulan will be participating in the USAJMO on April 19th and 20th, during which he will be taking a six question, nine hour essay/proof examination. Best of luck to Ragulan!

Our students fared just as well on the UVM Prize Examination in Mathematics. Out of all test takers statewide, Ragulan Sivakumar, Kailey Yang, and Ananth Malladi took first, third, and eighth respectively.  UVM recognizes top performers by region after naming the state’s top eight performers. Carlton Plourde was our region’s top performer. These students will be honored at the University of Vermont’s Math Day on May 16th. Our South Burlington math students generated the third longest high school list of students receiving Certificates of Merit from UVM based on their performance on the exam. Those students are: Sabrina Chiang (class of 2019), Brandon Lee (class of 2018), Sangmin Lee (class of 2022), Liam Lustberg (class of 2018), Ananth Malladi, Carlton Plourde, Ragulan Sivakumar, Anthony Stem (class of 2020), and Kailey Yang.

Congratulations to our award winners, and thank you to all participants!


UVM Vermont High School Prize Examination in Mathematics

The 60th annual UVM Vermont High School Prize Examination in Mathematics at South Burlington High School is scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, 2017 from 9:40 – 12:00 noon.

The UVM Prize Examination in Mathematics is a  41-question, 120-minute examination in high school mathematics designed to stimulate an interest in mathematics throughout the state at the secondary level and to increase contacts between college and high school teachers of the subject. The topics include the traditional subjects of algebra, geometry and trigonometry as well as probability, combinatorics and problems involving reasoning skills; all problems can be solved without using calculus. This is a non-calculator exam. The average number of students taking part in the contest is around 2000.

Interested students will have the opportunity to register online during math classes. Students may also register at any time by following this link to the online registration form.

State and regional prizes will be awarded at Math Day hosted on the University of Vermont campus in mid-May.

For more information, visit this page on the University of Vermont’s website.

Congratulations to our AIME Qualifiers!

Based on their scores on the AMC 10, Ragulan Sivakumar and Kailey Yang have qualified to take the American Invitational Mathematics exam. The American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) is a challenging exam offered for those who excelled on the AMC 10 or AMC 12 exams. The AIME is a 15 question, 3 hour examination; each answer is an integer number between 0 to 999. The questions on the AIME are much more difficult than those on the AMC 10 and AMC 12 competitions. Top scoring students on the AIME are invited to take the USAMO (USA Mathematical Olympiad) or USAJMO (USA Mathematical Junior Olympiad). Please join me in congratulating these students and wishing them well on the AIME, which is set for Wednesday, March 22 at South Burlington High School.

Mathematical Association of America: The AMC 10 & 12

The annual American Mathematics Competition at South Burlington High School is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2017 from 8:40 – 10:30 am.

The AMC 10 and AMC 12 are 25-question, 75-minute, multiple choice examinations in high school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills. Continue reading “Mathematical Association of America: The AMC 10 & 12”

Course Selection for 2017-2018

Hard to believe that we are already planning for the next academic year, but here we are. This year, SBHS math teachers will be posting course recommendations for your student via a comment on their forthcoming semester grade reports. Stay tuned.

It is important to understand that the annual course schedule is based on teacher recommendations and student requests. What that means is that the number of sections of a particular course offered in any given year is based upon the number of students recommended for and/or requesting that class. When it comes to math course recommendations, our goal as a math department is to place your student in the course that provides the appropriate level of challenge.

I would like to point out that our recommendations are just that – recommendations. Students and parents have the right to disagree with the recommendation and to request alternative placement via a formal process. Please understand, however, that we consider our course recommendations carefully before coming to a final decision. It is here that I offer a word of caution, and I will do so by way of example. Continue reading “Course Selection for 2017-2018”