UHS Math Club Sweeps Division Titles at Math Day at the Beach

The UHS Math Club teams pose for a group photo at Cal State Long Beach during the Math Day at the Beach competition.

Eric Shulman

The UHS Math Club teams pose for a group photo at Cal State Long Beach during the Math Day at the Beach competition.

Yihan Wang, Journalism Club Staff Writer

On March 11, UHS Math Club competed in the 22nd annual Math Day at the Beach competition at California State University, Long Beach. The team swept first prize in both Division A and Division B, marking the first time in UHS history that Math Club has won both division titles. 

The competition consisted of an individual and team round. Based on competitors’ performance in the individual round, the top eight individuals were selected to compete in a head-to-head direct elimination bracket to determine final placement.

UHS members were pitted against themselves in the elimination rounds, with junior Raymond Luo securing fifth place individually and Math Club Co-President and senior Benjamin Fan securing the second overall place. Math Club Co-Advisors Mr. Eric Shulman and Ms. Stephanie Chang oversaw both teams for the duration of the competition.

“[I am] very proud of the group,” Mr. Shulman said. “We had held this perpetual trophy for several consecutive years and had to give it up last year. The team was determined to get it back . . . The perpetual trophy is back where it belongs, in our display case in the front office.” 

With the trophy residing back on campus, Ms. Chang expresses her thoughts on the student’s performance.

“I am really proud of the kids winning both divisions,” Ms. Chang said. “We competed against schools with classes for this, and we are just a math club.”

The competition consisted of many aspects that required team cooperation, further strengthening members’ collaboration skills. Many students, such as sophomore Michael Li, enjoyed the collaborative experience which proved to be both a unique and challenging test of their mathematical abilities.

“The best parts of the competition had to be the team aspects of the team rounds, especially the relay round,” Li said. “There would be three problems, each of which depends on the answer in the previous question, and only the last answer counts towards the score. If one person messes up, the whole team messes up. Given the strict time limit of three minutes to produce the final answer, it was a fun and interesting experience.” 

Another highlight of the competition was the guest speaker presentation, which provided a source of intrigue and laughter before the start of the awards ceremony. 

“I really liked the guest speaker because he introduced me to a whole new topic and application of mathematics that I’ve never thought about before and probably will never see in the future,” sophomore Minerva You said. “His speech was overall very inspiring because it allowed me to explore [one of] the infinite possibilities of mathematics.” 

Students not only demonstrated perseverance and dedication to their passions, but they also acquired valuable skills and knowledge from the event, as they encountered a variety of problems in the topics of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, number theory, combinatorics and probability. The club’s members and their advisors continue to carry out UHS Math Club’s legacy, aiming to empower others and showcase the diverse and unique fun that Math Club offers. 

“[Math Club] is fun and relaxing; it’s just a group of kids who love math [and] get together on Fridays during lunch to hang out,” Ms. Chang said. “It’s casual. We welcome anyone to the club since you never know, maybe you will fall in love with math.”