2022 MATHCOUNTS FALL UPDATE
Check out the latest updates and news from MATHCOUNTS!
We’re going online with our fall communication to make it more interactive. Click links below to learn about our programs, sign up to volunteer or donate. Click here to download a PDF of the news update postcard.
MATHCOUNTS is excited to return to in-person chapter, state and national competitions for the 2023 competition season! Most participants held in-person practices, math club/video team meetings and school competitions last year and will continue to do so this year through their schools and extracurricular groups.
“After a successful hybrid year in 2022, we are so excited to bring together students again," said MATHCOUNTS executive director Kristen Chandler. "Connecting at live, in-person events is part of what makes MATHCOUNTS so special, and we are grateful to the educators, families and volunteer coordinators who make our programs possible."
Registration is open now!
Learn more below about all 3 MATHCOUNTS programs.
Calling all alumni! You can apply to our Alumni Scholarship if you're a high school senior, in college or pursuing a graduate degree. The award is $3000, and the application only requires one 750-word essay!
More than 1 in 4 schools participating in the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series
are low-income Title I schools.
Chances are, incredible Mathletes at an underserved school in your community are hard at work today practicing and building the problem-solving skills they need to change the world tomorrow.
Georgia State Coordinator Betty Jean is a longtime coordinator, engineer and past MATHCOUNTS coach.
Interview lightly edited for length and clarity.
I grew up in Atlanta and have lived about half my life in Monticello, which is in rural Middle Georgia. Living in such different areas has given me great perspective on my home state, which I love. I have been happily married to Robert for 27 years, and we have two greyhounds named Allie and Fleetwood and a brand-new galga named Olive. Galgos, also called Spanish greyhounds, are hunting dogs. Typically, they are used for only one season and then are killed or abandoned, so Olive is truly a rescue.
I am a civil engineer with bachelor's and master's degrees from Georgia Tech. I specialize in erosion and sediment control and stormwater management. After working for several engineering consulting firms for many years, I started my own company, Polyscape, LLC, in 2017. In addition to doing some of my own engineering consulting through Polyscape, I am the executive director of both the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers (GSPE) and the Georgia MATHCOUNTS Foundation. In addition, I am an instructor with the NPDES Training Institute, in which I teach erosion and sedimentation control certification classes required by Georgia law for people in the construction industry.
When I am not working, I usually am riding my bicycle. I do some racing, and I also do a type of long-distance, self-supported riding called randonneuring. Randonneuring is not racing, but you have a time limit. Recently, I completed a 1000-km (630-mile) ride in Florida. The time limit was 75 hours, and I completed it in just under 65. It was thrilling to ride my bicycle to the Gulf coast and then the Atlantic coast on back-to-back days!
As you might guess, I am goal oriented. Even so, I try not to define myself by my work or achievements. I would consider my greatest accomplishment to be remaining open to life, love and learning.
What do you remember about your time in MATHCOUNTS? Any favorite memories from participating? What did you learn that has been most helpful in your life?
I participated in MATHCOUNTS as an 8th grader during the 1983-84 school year , the first year MATHCOUNTS existed. At the time, my school system didn't have middle schools. We had elementary school from Kindergarten through 7th grade and high school from 8th through 12th grade. It was a big jump to go from elementary to high school. I remember MATHCOUNTS being hard! I went to our chapter competition, which was held at Georgia Tech. The top scorers participated in an additional round at the end of the day in front of a panel of judges—very intimidating!
On the other hand, MATHCOUNTS prepared me very well for high school math team in 9th through 12th grade. It began the process of my becoming more confident in my abilities. By the time I was a senior, I was my team's strongest competitor in ciphering (solving problems within a time limit), and my team often won or ranked high at county and invitational math competitions.
As an adult, I have had to continue honing my professional skills. When I need a confidence boost, I can remember how MATHCOUNTS taught me that skill building is a process, and I have to be patient and persistent.
That chapter MATHCOUNTS competition was also my first exposure to an all-day, extracurricular school activity. I was kind of amazed that I had spent a whole Saturday at a school event. Also, I was so glad that Mrs. Yontz, my MATHCOUNTS coach, offered to drive me home. This was in the days before cell phones, and because my school was locked for the weekend, I couldn't call my parents to pick me up. I could have walked the several miles home, but I was tired after a long but fun day of competition.
Early in my career, I worked for an engineering firm in Macon, GA called Tribble & Richardson (T&R). GSPE was the only engineering organization in town, and T&R employees were encouraged to join. When I learned that our Middle Georgia chapter of GSPE hosted MATHCOUNTS competitions—the same program I had participated in as an 8th grader!—I knew I had to volunteer. Another T&R employee had been the chapter coordinator, but he was moving out of state. I took on that role in 1998 and have been the Middle Georgia Chapter Coordinator ever since. Additionally, I have been the Georgia State Coordinator for most of the past 15 years.
Any favorite memories of being a coordinator? What have you learned from being a coordinator that has been the most meaningful to you?
A few years ago, I had about a dozen miscellaneous leftover MATHCOUNTS T-shirts from past competitions . They had simply been sitting in my file cabinet, so I decided to give them out at a state MATHCOUNTS competition (Mathletes love any kind of swag!). My plan was to have the students go through the digits of pi, with one student at a time raising their hand to say the next correct digit and getting a T-shirt. That plan backfired. As soon as I mentioned digits of pi, the entire room of nearly 200 Mathletes began chanting them, probably to 50 decimal places! I changed my plan and started running around the room, randomly tossing out T-shirts. It was hilarious, and I totally loved it!
That story is just one example of the need to go with the flow when it comes to MATHCOUNTS. Lots of unusual things have happened over the years. In 2008 we even had tornadoes! The whole weekend was stormy. On Friday night a tornado hit and the competition was the next day at Zoo Atlanta. We were able to complete the competition, but during the afternoon awards ceremony, there was another tornado warning, and we were forced to leave right away. Whenever a problem crops up as I'm coordinating a MATHCOUNTS competition, I tell myself that if I could get through the tornadoes in 2008, I can get through anything!
What are you looking forward to about hosting an official in-person Chapter competition again this year?
I look forward to the energy of all the students. Sometimes, working with middle school students can feel a little like herding cats , but I really like that age. They are old enough to really start grasping some complex concepts, but they aren't too jaded yet. Actually, I probably relate to them because I'm a 12-year-old trapped in a 50-something-year-old body!
How can the greater MATHCOUNTS community support coordinators as they transition back to in-person events?
Be ready and willing to volunteer—proctoring, scoring, etc.—even if you feel out of practice after the virtual events in the past few years. Help find potential new sources of volunteers, such as high school or college students who need community service hours, civic groups or Mensa. Ask your chapter or state coordinator if he or she needs help with other tasks, such as finding a venue or raising funds for the competition.