Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Alex At The 2015 Caltech / Harvey Mudd Math Competition


Song:  Dead Or Alive

Artist:  Bon Jovi


We had arrived at Caltech University early in the morning.

Alex was to meet his team at the check-in booth.





The young man on the left was on Coral Academy's Mathcounts team with Alex.

The young man next to him is an exchange student from Thailand.
He is very bright in math...
and he has entered international math competitions.


Coral Academy of Science fielded two math teams this year.
Alex was on team one.
Alex's former AMC math teacher is standing next to him.


The young lady with the suitcase...


is the same one in this picture from earlier this year (blue shirt)
at the aborted Stanford University math tournament
(A Star had made a last minute tournament for the competitors).

She had been on the Davidson Academy math team along with Alex
 for several tournaments.

She is now part of the San Francisco bay area teams
(they are some of the strongest teams in the Nation).

Two of those teams had placed second and fifth at this competition.
She was on the fifth place team.

She is absolutely brilliant...
and an extremely hard worker.

Her math scores have steadily improved...
and she now goes to a very prestigious school in California.

I wish I had taken a picture of her on stage with her fifth place team...
however...
Alex had moved from his seat...
and I had spent a long time looking for him inside and outside of the building.

It turns out he had moved to the front to see the guest lecturers up close.




This is Coral Academy's first time at the Caltech / Harvey Mudd math competition.
Both teams are in this photo.


These young men made up team one.


These young men and young ladies made up team two.


This was the schedule of events.


There were approximately 230 - 250 competitors.

Some of the brightest high school students in the nation 
were in this building for the competition
(California has the winningest teams in the nation in National contests).



There was a briefing...
and the teams were assigned their proctors and locations
 for the first phase of the competition.


Alex's group is off to their team testing location.


My wife and I then walked around until lunch time.






Alex's team arrived for lunch.

After lunch...
they went into the auditorium for the individual round.


There then was a briefing from a person who worked in Caltech's administration.


She had explained the core curriculum at Caltech.

She had encouraged all the competitors...
to apply to Caltech.

In reality...
only a very small number of the many who apply...
will ever get the chance to go here.

It is the number one university in the world.

We are talking 'Big Bang Theory' type of brilliance.


The first guest speaker was talking about 'Knot Theory'.

From what I had gathered...
there was Knot Theory...
Unknot...
and Know Not.

I was in the latter category  :)





The next guest speaker was an alumnus from Caltech...
and he was presently working with some high tech company.

He talked about the math behind Rubic Cubes.

He is also a nationally ranked speed Rubic Cube solver.


At the conclusion of the competition...
we walked back to the car.

Alex knew he had done better than he had last year...
but we won't know how much better for a few days.

However...
although Alex will need more practice to place individually...
and his team did not place...
Alex saw improvement in his understanding...
and he has another two years of competition left to improve.

Alex always enjoys going to competitions...
as he learns a lot about deeper levels of math
(they provide solutions to all problems a few days to a few weeks later...
and he learns much from them).



We had gone out to eat in downtown Pasadena.

This is a photo of the town hall.


We had found a Dim Sum restaurant.

Their food was very good here.


I tried one of my wife's sticky rice with meat cakes.




I tried their sponge cake dessert.


Alex had the mango pudding.


I liked their crystal light decoration.


This nice looking dog was tied up at the front entrance.

Now...
had he been tied up at the back...near the kitchen...
I would have been very worried  :)



(Now don't get all PC on me...
it was funny  :)



My next article will be of our trip home...
and yes...
with many more pictures of mountains.

Ah...
but this time...
it was snowing :)








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