By: Allan Ko
Get your thinking caps on – the first annual Mission Math Tournament (MMT) is coming to MSJ. The brainchild of Seniors Jonathan Chen, Ray Hua Wu, and Richard Zhang, MMT will take place from May 29 to June 7, and the last day to register is April 30. According to its website at msjmath.co.nr, MMT is “a revolution in the concept of a math tournament” and aims to celebrate mathematical skill and encourage students (especially those who do not regularly compete in math competitions) to experience “the problem-solving mathematical world.”
MMT’s inception originated in Wu’s experience with various mathematics competitions such as the Stanford and Berkeley Math Tournaments. Wu felt that these tournaments by and large were very similar and tested only a small variety of mathematical skill. “I felt that the amount of mind-space that competitive math enveloped could be expanded,” he said, “and thus I decided that I wanted to bring about a totally new type of math tournament.” Wu brought his idea to Chen and Zhang, and they began working out the details together. Soon afterwards, Zhang decided that he would rather participate in the tournament than help run it, and resigned from the staff.
MMT offers a variety of events designed to reward all types of mathematical skill. Each student may choose to participate in either the Regular Round, whose problems may be solved entirely with high school mathematics, or the Calculus Round, which unsurprisingly requires calculus. Competitors may also participate in the Mental Math, Estimation, or Mystery Rounds. Finally, teams of three to four students will have the chance to take the Power Round (a set of questions exploring an advanced mathematical concept) and the Team Mystery Round, both of which are collaborative tests encouraging sportsmanship and teamwork. “The reason why there [are] so many different rounds is because we recognize [that] there are many different types of math skills, and we want to celebrate as many of them as possible. [For example,] we understand that some people would take pride in the ability to do math in their head – thus, the Mental Math Round.”
The registration fee costs $6 per individual, $15 per team of three, and $20 per team of four. MMT is non-profit, and all of the entrance fees are used for prizes. There will be individual and team awards for each event, as well as overall prizes for teams that do well cumulatively in multiple events. Chen and Wu wrote all of the tests in the tournament, whose problems range in difficulty from that of the California Math League (CaML) to National Olympiad-tier mathematics.
“If I could get at least one person who had a mediocre opinion of math [before, but is now] hyped up about math after going to MMT, I would consider it a success,” said Wu. “I’m hoping people enjoy it.”
To find out more or register for the MMT, visit msjmath.co.nr. The registration deadline is April 30.