Central Academy Students Finish 7th in National Mathematics Competition

Central Academy has some of the best high-school mathematicians in the country, as demonstrated by their 7th-place finish in the 2012 Collaborative Problem-Solving Contest (CPSC), a national mathematics contest administered by National Assessment & Testing. 

While most math competitions encourage rote memorization, familiar problems, and quick mental reflexes, the CPSC presents schools with fifteen unique, intricate problems to be solved over the course of a week.  Under the guidance of coach Mike Marcketti, students worked together using brainstorming, collaboration, research, and technology to solve the problems, gaining experience with skills that will be critical in college and their careers.

In addition to their overall 7th-place recognition, Central Academy was commended for having the highest score on six of the fifteen problems, including problem twelve, one of the most difficult. This problem involved finding sequences of numbers with certain properties that can be interspersed with other sequences, as well as converting sequence definitions from one style or format to another.

“When our students see themselves ahead of traditional powers like Palo Alto High School, they really begin to understand the amazing mathematical community that is in place here at Central Academy,” said Mike Marcketti, a math teacher at Central. “The problems on this contest are a challenge for most of us to read, let alone solve.  Nonetheless, our students earned the highest score on six of the fifteen questions.”

Central Academy students who took part in the CPSC mathematic competition were:

  • 9th grader: Kristina Smith
  • 10th graders: Edel Aron, Granger Carty, Sophie Heatherington, Patrick Hiatt, Max Pilcher, Oliver Shimp, Vaibhav Srikaran, Justin Weeks
  • 11th graders: Olin Carty, Eric Chen, Danny Deeter, Alex Lopez, Luke Sheeley
  • 12th graders: Jack Bequeaith, Matt Mackay, Megan Mansfield, China Mauck, Chris Sherwood, Luchang Wang

The 2012 Collaborative Problem-Solving Contest included creative problems accessible to students of all abilities, such as one asking teams to decrypt mathematical quotes based on the number of letters each word had in common with math words such as “abacus.” Other problems on the test started out simply, but progressed to some very difficult conclusions. There was also a single open-ended problem that asked teams to redesign the website and logo for the competition.

National Assessment & Testing administers high-quality mathematics competitions throughout the year that high schools can participate in through the mail. Their contests cover a variety of formats, including individual and team tests, as well as a variety of difficulties, from an easier 100 problems in 30 minutes to this more complicated 15 problems in one week. To learn more about the visit http://www.natassessment.com.