Mu Alpha Theta participates in Ala-La-Miss math competition


Jay Snodgrass

MSMS Mu Alpha Theta math club will participate in many competitions during the academic year.

Christina Zhang, Staff Writer

MSMS Mu Alpha Theta members participated in the first of six Ala-La-Miss math competitions on Oct. 14. Hosted in Hooper Auditorium, students spent 30 minutes of their day solving math problems in hopes of achieving a high score for MSMS. Ala-La-Miss Mathematics League is a competition for elementary, middle and high school students across the states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Juniors JD Hagood and Richard Zheng both said they opted to partake in the math competition because of their love of math.

“It was a lot of fun to try to solve the problems,” Hagood said. “It was a nice mental workout at the very least, and really rewarding when you got some of the harder ones correct.”

“It was math — you know I’m already in Mu Alpha Theta, so why not,” Zheng added.

Both students said the problems themselves were beneath their expectations in terms of difficulty.

“I’ve always loved math, and so I’m always studying passively, but nothing to actually prepare,” Hagood says. “It was a little bit easier than I was expecting, but I expect the weeks later on to get harder.”

“I expected it to be harder actually with the practice [the organizers] released, but it wasn’t that bad,” Zheng said. “It was really fun. People should come, why not. If you do bad, it’s okay, if you do good, it’s even better.”

Lauren Zarandona, the sponsor for Mu Alpha Theta, said the competition may help prepare students for the classroom.

“The competition gives students the chance to do math that is different than what’s in the classroom … you have a chance to problem solve and think through unusual things,” Zarandona said.

Still, the math competition can be done by anyone willing to try.

“The math on the competition is — although it does go through Algebra II — the math is technically lower, really, than what we do at our classes here,” Zarandona said.

Zarandona said she is confident in MSMS students’ abilities to do well in this competition. Like Zheng, she said she encourages students to come out and try.

“This time, every student got at least one question right, which is really exciting; there’s only six questions,” Zarandona said. “I think the more you’ve done competition math, the better your advantage. Why not come try and aim for one right at a time?”