The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

Math competition hosted at ASL

This year, ASL hosted the International Schools Mathematics Teachers Foundations (ISMTF) Senior competition from January 30 through February 1. The mission of the competition is to support the learning of mathematics at international schools.

There were nine ASL students who competed: Ali M. Ahmed (’18), Jonathan Wang (’17), Isobel Bohmer (’16), Emma Abele, (’16), Rebecca Brunsberg (’15), Tarush Gupta (’15), Veronica Lim (’15), Jack Roth (’15) and Lizzie Shaffran (’15), with the team placing sixth overall out of 58 teams.

Gupta didn’t expect ASL to do as well as they did in the competition. “We won a couple years ago, but realistically, I [didn’t]  think we [were] going to win,” he said.

ASL has participated in ISMTF competitions annually for over 13 years. The school placed second in the 2009 Senior Competition and had a first place finish in the 2012 Junior Competition.

Prior to the event, the math team met during lunch or after school and worked on practice problems.

Before the competition, Bohmer felt her greatest strength was her different perspective. “With solving difficult problems it’s good to have multiple perspectives on how to go about solving it,” she said.

The competition was broken up into three different stages. The first part was a written individual test where each student competed against one another. Wang placed 13th overall out of 171 competitors.

Roth found the test challenging but not overbearing. “It was harder than a lot of the practice tests that we had done, but I was still able to get answers and it wasn’t impossible,” he  said.

The second stage included team problems where students from the same school worked together to solve more difficult problems which can take up to 15 minutes to solve.

The third stage occurred on Sunday, February 1 and was a scavenger hunt known as the Sunday Chase. Math Teacher Mark Barsoum organized the competition and describes the Sunday Chase as “logic-based and puzzle-based problems.” Students from different schools combined to form teams and were given a map of the school along with a list of 15 classrooms with problems in them. They were limited to one hour and 10 minutes to answer the questions.

Math Teacher Doug Poggioli was responsible for writing questions for the competition. The task took him over five months to complete. However, Poggioli didn’t write the questions alone, citing help from ASL math teachers along with math teachers at other schools partaking in the competition. “About 30 to 40 percent of the questions are from coaches who submitted them. The coaches from the other schools submit questions, and I either like it, don’t like it, change it or I keep it and then I have to come up with the other ones. So really, there’s lots of collaboration,” he said.

The next opportunity for ASL’s math students to compete will be at the Junior High School competition, which is for students under 16 years of age. The Junior competition will be hosted by Webster University in Vienna, Austria from March 13 – March 15. ASL will be sending six students to compete.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Standard Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *