KO Student to Compete in National Math Competition - Kingswood Oxford

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April 19, 2024

KO Student to Compete in National Math Competition

According to Upper School math teacher and Math Club advisor Ryan Harris, KO’s Math Club is building momentum!


Last year, two students who shared a passion for math, Zeno Chen ’23 and Maggie Dwyer ’23, had the brainchild to organize a math club. Last year’s club had four students; this year, the number is nine: three juniors, three sophomores, and three freshmen.


“It’s bittersweet,” said Harris. “Zeno and Maggie championed it, and they can’t see the fruits of their labor. It’s so much more meaningful that the students generated the idea rather than me. The students are great, and they make the club great.”


Harris shared that the club is not limited in size, and all students who love math and want to sharpen their skills are welcome. 


KO is one of the few private schools that competes in math events. The team has qualified for the state and New England Association of Mathematics League, which is held in Canton, Mass.


Harris explained that there are five individual rounds where the students have ten minutes to answer three questions, and the difficulty increases in each round; the last round is a team round comprised of five students who answer six questions within ten minutes,


“The team round is our best round,” he said. We tend to do really well in that because of the collaborative nature that KO helps to foster. Our students work really well together. They naturally do that.”


One student who has achieved great success in math competitions is Jason Gu ’27. On March 6, he competed in a two-hour online test for American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) with approximately 300 other students in Connecticut. As one of the top 50 finishers, he was selected to compete at Penn State from June 31-July 1. “This is a great chance to meet other students and compete,” he said.


Gu has a natural affinity for math and admitted that he didn’t prepare for the test, although he found the questions extremely challenging. Jason is currently enrolled in Calculus AB, but he said his favorite subject is Spanish, as he considers learning a third language “very interesting.”


He enjoys the math club and finds the experience as a way to unwind.“We talk about math, and it’s not necessarily the math we have learned in class,” he said.” It’s a place to enjoy math no matter what math class you are taking. It’s not very competitive.”

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