UHS Students Compete in Caltech Harvey-Mudd Math Competition


Kristine Lu

UHS Mathematics Club teams pose for a group photo during the the Caltech Harvey-Mudd Math Competition (CHMMC) at California Institute of Technology.

Sarah Chen, Staff Writer

On Jan. 21, two teams from the UHS Mathematics Club participated in the Caltech Harvey-Mudd Math Competition (CHMMC) at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. The UHS ALPHA team consisted of sophomore Yufei Chen, senior Benjamin Fan, junior Sanghyuk Im, junior Kristine Lu, junior Raymond Luo and freshman Feodor Yevtushenko and received eighth place out of 40 teams from across the country. Yevtushenko, Luo and junior James Shi advanced to the top 16 of the integration bee portion of the competition.

Junior Tejasvi Aynor, junior Timi Fang, sophomore Victoria Fang, sophomore Michael Li, junior James Shi and junior Oliver Zheng competed on the UHS BETA team. Although most teams at the competition consisted of the top mathematicians from their respective cities, the two UHS teams were exceptions that represented top competitors from a single school.

The competition was split up into a group round, an integration bee qualification exam, an individual round and the integration bee for those who qualified. In the 135 minutes allotted for the group round, teams were expected to work on a power round based on proofs and a team round composed of short answer questions.

“We split up the work on the team and power rounds, allowing us to maximize our collective strengths,” Shi said. “I worked on the power round with two other team members, and we were able to combine our ideas and help each other.”

After the group round, teammates worked individually on the integration bee qualification exam. Students were given ten minutes to solve 14 integrals, with the top scorers moving on to compete in the single-elimination integration bee.

“When I made it to the integration bee, I felt excited for the opportunity to use all the knowledge I gained from Mr. Shulman’s class and compete against other calculus-passionate students,” Shi said. “I was also thrilled to participate in a knockout-style competition for the first time since doing the MathCounts Countdown Round in middle school.”

The integration bee allowed students to watch other students’ approaches to solving high-level integral problems.

“The part I enjoyed most was watching the final round of the integration bee,” Timi Fang said. “Brackets of people doing the integrals on the board was very exciting and thrilling.”

Throughout the competition, math team members formed a closer bond with people from other teams as they explored the campus.

“I really enjoyed seeing my friends from the Bay Area and San Diego and searching for food with my teammates,” Shi said.

The students acknowledged that the UHS Math Club had provided them with a community to learn and grow.

“UHS has a very large community of people who do competitive math,” Yevtushenko said. “Math Club is a place for anyone to ask for help or advice whenever they need it.”

Competitions like the CHMMC allowed many Math Club members to further their studies beyond math taught in the classroom.

“The interesting part of math is working with other people and discovering new concepts, rather than just listening to lectures and memorizing formulas,” Timi Fang said. “Trying to prove theorems rather than memorizing them makes math more fun in competitions like CHMMC.”

Math Club members offered advice to students looking to study higher-level mathematics outside of the classroom.

“Although solving problems or winning competitions is fun, math is also about being part of an incredible community of people who will inspire you to reach your full potential,” Shi said. “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and embrace the challenge.”