Sunday, March 8, 2015

Alex At The 2015 UC Berkeley Math Tournament (BMT)

Song:  True Thomas

Artist:  Trine Opsahl

Alex and five teammates participated in the 
University of California Berkeley Math Tournament on Saturday
(High School math teams).

We had gotten up at 2:30 AM and we were on the road by 3 AM.

Although it is only a 3.5 - 4 hour drive...
the registration started at 8 AM, and I had to ensure
we allowed plenty of time in case of any unaccounted for delays along the route.

We had arrived just a little after 7 AM.

We had just arrived on the campus here.

The event took place on the North side of the campus...
at the math building.

It was a short walk to the math building
(10 story cube shaped building on the left).

We were the first ones to arrive...
so we walked around a little.

I love this tall clock tower.

It stands so majestically on the campus as it chimes out the time.

We had found a nice bench to sit on until the arrival of the tournament staff.

Alex and I waited for the arrival of the rest of his team here.

The initiation of the tournament check-in.

Alex's team members...minus one
(the last member to arrive made check-in by a few minutes).

After Alex's team went in to start their competition...
I walked around the campus and took some photos.

This squirrel was funny.

He is used to being fed treats by the students.

He came up to me and stood up on his hind legs...
and then looked at me for a few seconds...
as if he were expecting me to give him a treat  :)

The campus has some nice shaded walking paths.

I then sat on a bench to watch some of the students playing various Frisbee games.

As it was nearing lunch break for the contestants...
I sat at this table and listened to music until the initiation of lunch break.

I met Alex as he emerged from the math building...
and we then walked off campus to a street filled with ethnic restaurants.

Alex and I had chosen a Mediterranean restaurant for lunch
(Alex had a Chicken Kabab plate...
and I had the Gyro plate).

After the lunch break...
the contestants went in to complete the last segment of the competition.

After the last test...
they had offered many subject specific mini classes 
as given by various visiting professors.

Alex had attended a class called:  Probabilities in the Real World.

During all of this...
I simply took a lie down on one of the long benches just outside
the math building...looked skywards...and took a nap.

After a while...
I got thirsty, so I walked to an off campus cafe.

On the way there and back...
I took some more photos.

I then returned to my old spot...
and napped some more until everyone emerged from their classes.

We then walked to the awards ceremony inside of the math building.

Alex sitting with some of his teammates.

Part of the team as they are looking at the results.

Another partial team photo.

The only other member of his team whom I hadn't previously photographed...
is on the right of this photo.

This young man is a 6th grader...
and he is an absolutely brilliant young mathematician.

I was talking with his parents.
He has accomplished many incredible feats of mathematical knowledge...
as demonstrated in math contests and testing...
since the fourth grade (and I am sure...well before then).

However, what had impressed me most about him...
was his quiet and reserved demeanor.

Besides having the maturity of a much older person...
he has what I value the most in another human being...
a pure and gentle heart.

I could tell that he is going to grow up to be a great human being.

I also know that this young man is going to accomplish many great things in his future.

He reminded me so much of Alex.

(one of Alex's teammates showing that he had worn his NNV Math Club T-shirt)

I love taking Alex to his competitions.

It is always such a pleasure seeing so many highly intelligent
young mathematicians together.

Even in large numbers...
the groups are always well behaved.

What I have found just from the many competitions Alex has been to...
there is almost always a high level of maturity 
demonstrated in children who are highly intelligent.

Alex and I departed UC Berkeley after the conclusion of the competition.

I took one last photo of Alex...
just before leaving the campus.

Just before leaving town...
we stopped in for dinner.

We had arrived home at approximately 10:30 PM.

In the morning I took some pictures of Alex's competition T-shirt.

Later that day...
Alex went to his Sunday math club practice.

I usually sit just outside the classroom and listen to music, or read...
while the young mathematicians work on their mathematical proofs.

Alex is busy studying for one of his Calculus III midterm examinations.

I will also be altering Alex's weight training some.

I will be having Alex perform mostly Power Lifting singles...
on a higher set, but less frequently performed, schedule.

Alex's tendons have been sufficiently toughened for such training...
and we will be starting out with less weight...
as the number of sets will be double what he has ever performed before.

In a future article...
I will be talking about his new routine.


  1. These experiences are so great for Alex. Besides the math itself, he got to see a wonderful college campus and interact with his peers who are also so accomplished and dedicated.

  2. Alex loves the competitions. He enjoys being with the other children and talking math. This is one of his goals...possibly going to UC Berkeley.


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