Let’s Get Ready to Rhombus!
I suppose you could be forgiven for not knowing that the fifth 2004-2005 meet of the Oahu Mathematics League took place this morning at Mid-Pacific Institute. The local stations don’t seem to think news-viewers are as interested in mathematics competition as softball tournaments.
A view of the Students’ Lounge, half an hour before go-time.
However, if you’d dropped by, you’d have seen a beautiful sight: over two-hundred dedicated, focused high-schoolers from thirty schools puzzling over the correct approaches to the kinds of problems many people experience only in nightmares.
I coach the team from ASSETS High School, and we’ve been having trouble getting our act together this year, which is mostly my fault. However, for the first time since September of 2003, we came with a full team (which is six students in division B; in division A it’s ten), and despite carrying three first-timers, we managed to stay out of the cellar. That’s always our goal: not to finish in last.
When I was a student in the mid- to late-eighties, I competed on the Hawaii Baptist Academy mathematics team. In those days, McKinley High was the dominant team, seldom finishing out of first place. However, there has recently been a power-shift in the OML, and Iolani has had a grip on first since 1996.
The problems were hard this month. I am a math teacher, but I was an English major in college, so I admit that I have difficulty solving problems in the geometry and trig events. I often feel like something of an imposter in the coach’s lounge–especially on those rare occasions when the coach from another school asks my opinion on the best way to solve a tough problem.
Luckily, I’m a good faker.
Kamehameha Schools almost shocked the OML, finishing only four points behind Iolani (there may have been a disqualification of one student’s scores–I didn’t catch the details at the coaches’ meeting at the meet’s conclusion). For those who are curious, here are the top ten finishers in each division. Please notice that my alma mater finished higher than Wendell’s alma mater!
- Iolani 249
- Kamehameha 245
- McKinley 217
- Moanalua 184
- Punahou 179
- Roosevelt 166
- Hawaii Baptist Academy 145
- Mid-Pacific Institute 136
- Maryknoll 111
- Mililani 105
- Sacred Hearts
- St. Francis
Next meet: March 12 at Aiea. Who wants to come check it out? :)