Saturday, April 23, 2016

Alex At The ARML Locals / Math League Elementary School State Competition

Song:  You're A God

Group:  Vertical Horizon

Today, Alex competed in the ARML Local Competition.

Through this competition...
he established his placement on the NNV Math Team 
going to the ARML Nationals in Las Vegas this June
(A National and International high school math competition).

Alex said that this year he would like to stay in the dorms with his team
throughout the two day competition (ARML Nationals).

He will also eat at the university cafeteria along with his team.

Alex wants to get used to doing these things on his own...
as he will be a full time university student in a couple of years.

Today was a simultaneously run competition in the same building
for the State Finals of the Math League Elementary School Division...
and the ARML Local competition.

The award ceremony for both would be later on this afternoon.

We had arrived early...

and we had gone around to the front of the building.

I had not realized at the time...
but the front doors were not being used for this day's competition.

Since we had arrived early...
it was before they could put up signs telling the doors were alarmed.

And yes...I had opened an alarmed door  :)

After we went around to a side door...
I helped put up signs on all of the front doors.

Some of the competitors started arriving.

These were the Math League Elementary School Division State Finalists.

Only the top five finishers in each grade will go on to the Nationals
(The Nationals are later this year in Houston, TX).

After several hours of competition...
everyone was waiting to go to the auditorium for the awards ceremony.

Alex is wearing last year's ARML Nationals T-shirt.

These were the top 5 students in 3rd grade...
from left to right...5th through first.

The young boy who had won first place (on the right)...
had the biggest smile on his face.

These were the 4th graders going to the Nationals (left to right...fifth to first place).

These were the five fifth graders going to the Nationals
(left to right...fifth to first).

Alex had taken 1st place in the ARML Local.

Alex walking back with his individual first place ribbon.

Alex holding up his 1st place ribbon in our backyard.

Alex had also qualified for another National math contest being held in Chicago, Illinois.

However, it was being held on this same day...
and Alex wanted to qualify for the ARML Nationals instead.

After relaxing for a little while at home...
we then went out to a neighborhood all you can eat Sushi restaurant.


Alex is going to his math circle tomorrow.

He is always excited to go and expand his knowledge.

Alex is also busy finishing up his Math Contest
(his design and problems).

It will be near the end of next month.

He hopes to attract many competitors.

I can hardly wait for Alex's first annual Mathematical Talent Exhibition.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fourth Place For Northstar - Academic Olympics Finals

Song:  Adiemus

Northstar was competing for the rights to go to 
the State Academic Olympic competition.

They were in the number four position going into the competition.

Just before the first heat.

It was a very close battle.

In the end...
Northstar lost by 10 points (1 question).

The final heat proved to be somewhat heartbreaking.

Northstar was ahead at the halftime break.

However, the other team pulled ahead.

No excuses...
they had done well.

One of the Academic Olympic coaches giving the team a pep talk after the competition.

They had done well for their first year.

They ended the season in fourth place...
and they will return next year...
hungry for victory.

We went out to dinner afterwards.

Dealing with loss is part of competition.

For the meek...
it signals a time to quit.

For true competitors...
it lights the fires of drive...
and they return more hungry than ever.

Alex can hardly wait for next year.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Alex Using LaTeX Software For His Math Homework

Piano / Violin Music Mix

LaTeX is a way to type out mathematical and scientific symbols
and formulas in proper notation.

Alex downloaded the free software from here:

Alex learned how to use the software from here:

Alex's high school teacher was impressed with his ability to use this software.

Before, Alex just used Microsoft Word...
and he couldn't correctly display mathematical notations.

However, with LaTeX, Alex finds typing out his homework assignments 
to be easier to do, and in a much easier to understand format.

He was able to produce professional looking mathematical notations 
in his homework answers / proofs.

As a result, his homework looks much better.

Here are a few samples of Alex's homework 
from his AP BC Calculus class from his high school...
and a sample of his homework answers from his Game Theory class 
at the University of Nevada Reno.

These are screen captures of some of Alex's 
recent homework he had completed for his classes.

NOTE:  These are some of Alex's actual answers.
 These are not the problems from his teacher (not shown).
Again...these are Alex's ANSWERS.

Using LaTeX, Alex had produced mathematical notations
in his answers as if they were for a text book.

I screen captured these from my wife's blog.

She had typed the below sentence...
so, her English is a little strange  :)


Alex is putting on the finishing touches on his upcoming math competition
(His competition - his design and problems).

He had designed all of the math problems to be used in his three category 
math competition (Elementary school / Middle School / High School).

Alex is having a University professor double check his answers for him...
to ensure accuracy.

It will be held at the end of May at the University of Nevada Reno...
in the Davidson Math and Science building.

The founder of NNV Math Club is helping him coordinate the contest site... 
and she will be securing all of the regular placement medals.

I told Alex that we would supply the 1st place prizes for each category:

Elementary School 1st Place:  A 7" Kindle Fire

Middle School 1st Place:  A 7" Kindle Fire

High School 1st Place:  A top of the line Mathematical Graphing Calculator

We will also be paying the entrance fees for the first 10 competitors from his school.

Alex will also have a special medal for the top competitor 
who had gotten a score of 95% or more of the questions (in each category)...
Master Mathematician.

There will also be a special certificate for any competitor who
achieves the Master Mathematician Classification (95% or more).

Alex had designed his competition with staggered start times
so each category will end just before the award ceremony.

I will be there to help out, and to take lots of photos.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Northstar's Writing Assignments

Violin Music

Group:  Sound Of An Angel

Alex's online high school has many Advanced Placement courses
for their students to take.

I was pleasantly surprised at the number and depth of the writing assignments
assigned to the students in many of their classes.

Below is how many of the assignments are issued to the students.

I've included a couple of the many writing assignments assigned by this
one class (AP US History B).

Alex has to write one to two of these assignments per week 
for this one course alone.

Being able to write well...
not to even mention reading and digesting a lot of material...
is an essential skill to master while still in high school.

At university...
the pace will be blistering.

I think that so many drop out of university because 
they are simply not prepared to handle the reading and writing 
load that a university student is expected to handle.

As a tenth grader...
Alex knows that assignments which involve
critical analysis of that which was an essential skill.

If high school students balk at this...
they will not be prepared for the rigors of a university.

It is through this practice that a student will prepare himself
 for everything else in life.

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