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Math team to compete at FSU

Throughout the year there are events and competitions that help campus students prove they that contend with the large schools. With a student body of only 300, campus students have managed to place sixth in the Academic Decathlon, win the “All Valley Newspaper” award numerous times, and send art students home with honorable mention in a State-wide Congressional competition.

However, the math department will be given the opportunity to shine at this years’ Math Field Day. Allen Tong, and his group of handpicked students will represent the campus at Fresno State campus April 20, starting at 8:00 a.m.

“Math Field Day is a math competition at Fresno State,” Tong, math teacher, said, “where students from different schools compete in several math events.”

Tong is relying on seniors Stephen Crosby, Christopher Dang, John Myers, Tim Swift and John Wiens to provide a strong foundation to the team.

“We need to have some depth in order to compete with the larger schools,” Tong said. “They have a larger student pool to draw from, but we have the talent makeup for that disadvantage and come ahead in the four different areas.”

The four different competitions, or games, at Math Field Day are: Nim, Mad Hatter A, Mad Hatter B and Leap Frog. Nim is a “hands on” game played against a computer program where there are different piles, each containing a certain number of “sticks”. While the rules are complicated, and the average bystander would probably wonder what the player is doing moving around the piles. The objective is to be the player who grabs the last stick and eliminate the last pile

Mad Hatter A and B are simply a series of math questions asked to the participants in a giving amount of time; the A and B identify different levels of questions.

“I am competing in Leap Frog,” Crosby said. “I have an hour to complete a test, and then my partner and I correct each others work.”

The campus’ top math students will be up against the best of all the public and private schools in the Valley. These so called “games” can be trying and tedious, but the competitors and their coach, believe they have what it takes.

“We have five very smart guys going,” Tong said, “I believe with their support, our team has a strong chance of winning.

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