Math for Fun and Glory

Junior Dylan Tsuruda attempts to complete a practice problem in preparation for an upcoming Math League meet.

Many students join Math League for the challenge and the thrill of completing complex problems.

At HBA, Math teachers Cameron Taketa and Terence Li advise the high school Math League, which currently has 30 members.

Students can compete in Math League no matter their level of math completed. Though students often have a lot of fun at meetings, the atmosphere does become serious during competitions. “I joined Math League because Mr. Li recommended it to me, and I have found Math League to be really fun,” says junior Dylan Tsuruda. Senior Hellen Chen joined the club because of her love for Math. “Math League to me is a club in which I can have fun and learn at the same time without the pressures of grades and tests,” she says.

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“Math League to me is a club in which I can have fun and learn at the same time without the pressures of grades and tests,”

Senior Hellen Chen

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Taketa has been advising the team for eight years and Li has been advising the team for three years. “Math League a competition between schools on Oahu that takes place over seven competitions. HBA fields a team in the top division, which has ten competing members,” says Taketa. Math League competitions comprise of the varsity and the junior varsity level. Though both levels complete the same problems, only the varsity level competes for team points that goes into the overall team ranking. Problems range from algebra to trigonometry, and many concepts are based on things learned in school.

“Math League definitely helps with school math while the concepts learned in classrooms also help with Math League events. For example, we were learning vectors in Pre-calculus and a Math League event around that time coincided with that topic so it helped me prepare more for the test as well as the competition,” says senior Hellen Chen.

Tsuruda offered this analogy: If school math classes were a soccer match, Math League is like the running exercises one has to do to prepare for the match. “A great soccer player is usually good with the soccer ball,” he says, “however, it helps to be able to run fast.”

Students in Math League earn the experience of competing for a team as well as two percent extra credit towards their quarterly grade. Math League is held in room 304 every Wednesday and Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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