2023 MATHCOUNTS FALL UPDATE
Check out the latest updates and news from MATHCOUNTS!
We’ve gone fully online with our fall communication to make it more interactive. Click links below to learn about our programs, discover recent news and support MATHCOUNTS!
MATHCOUNTS in August announced significant enhancements to the National Math Club that are now coming to fruition! Submissions for our Silver Level recognition platform opened on November 1 to recognize clubs that have already met five or more times this year. On December 1, we'll open the Gold Level recognition platform for clubs that complete a collaborative project. We will keep track of the highest-quality Gold Level projects and announce the Gold Level Honor Roll at the end of the school year!
School registration for the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series opened in August, and as of November 6 we've opened registration for non-school competitors (NSCs), too! A student may register as an NSC only if their official school of record is not registering for the Competition Series and will not support student participation in the program through the school. Schools and NSCs can register for the Competition Series through December 15.
- Register by December 15
- $35 per school competitor (up to 12)
- 50% discount for Title I schools
- $70 per non-school competitor (NSC). Students can register as NSCs only if their school will not register or support participation through the school.
National Math Club
- Register now for free
- For schools + non-school groups
- Club kit for every club that registers—including stickers (new!), a poster and club leader guide.
- Clubs can apply for Silver + Gold recognition and prizes
- Check out our new club activities this year—Trashketball, Paper Planes, Truss Bridge Activity and Monthly Challenges!
Last fall, MATHCOUNTS alumnus Grant Zhang started a new team with a simple goal—"I wanted to share how amazing math can be with my juniors and help them develop a love for math." After having competed solo at his Title I middle school in Mississippi, Grant wanted to establish a proper team there so more students could experience the benefits of MATHCOUNTS. So, he earned a spot in the MATHCOUNTS Community Coaching Cohort, a group of alumni who receive resources to start MATHCOUNTS programs at underserved schools.
After months of preparing the team with practice problems and competition advice, Grant was pleasantly surprised to find that his team at Oxford Middle School had done more than develop a love for math—they placed third in their chapter competition with one student advancing to the state level! MATHCOUNTS is excited to see more success stories for underserved students as we continue this program in the 2023-2024 school year with 12 awesome new coaches. Like Grant says, "The [Community Coaching] initiative can pave the way for students and let MATHCOUNTS guide them to their dreams like a lighthouse."
With the right math foundation as soil and the community MATHCOUNTS provides as sunlight, every student can grow to their highest potential. This Giving Tuesday (Nov. 28), help us provide these resources to 2,300 students from underserved schools like Grant's.
MATHCOUNTS alumna Emma Kerwin is a business intelligence strategist at Capstone Investment Advisors. She received a Bachelor of Science (Business Analytics with a Mathematics minor) and a Master of Finance from MIT. While Emma has been helping MATHCOUNTS for years as a volunteer proofreader, she recently went the extra mile to secure an exciting fundraising opportunity for MATHCOUNTS through her company.
Interview responses below were lightly edited for clarity.
MATHCOUNTS was easily my favorite part of middle school. At every meeting, my whole self was accepted, challenged and openly appreciated.
From an academic standpoint, I always appreciated how MATHCOUNTS problems put math skills into a practical and relatable context. In math class I learned about how general concepts work, but in MATHCOUNTS I was able to apply those skills to a variety of real-life situations.
Additionally, I was very lucky to have multiple MATHCOUNTS coaches who went the extra mile and fostered a sense of team spirit. Over the years, I was able to refine both my teamwork and leadership skills. I am very lucky to have had MATHCOUNTS to provide me with a team experience during those formative years. I hope for others to experience the same joy.
My experience in MATHCOUNTS also helped me to realize from an early age that I wanted my career to have an applied math aspect. I enjoyed how MATHCOUNTS allowed me to visualize math in real life settings. This kind of academic reward was greater than what I had experienced before, and I knew that I could lead a fulfilling career by using those skills on a daily basis.
After meeting with MATHCOUNTS team members in person, we figured that the best way for me to go forward with helping all students to access MATHCOUNTS materials regardless of background was to volunteer as a proofreader.
Volunteering as a proofreader has been a very meaningful way for me to see the other side of MATHCOUNTS. I have gained further appreciation for the multiple steps of careful planning that go into the creation of practice materials. Each problem set is designed to be approachable to every student yet also challenging to those looking to go beyond. There is a large team of caring adults who make sure that the problem text is clear and that all relevant concepts are appropriately represented.
I use data analysis skills to make meaningful visualizations for my company’s risk team and investment committee. My team members use my results to better inform their decisions and suggestions to investment teams.
I collaborate with risk managers to ensure that I include all of their desired metrics in my reporting. I also work with software developers who create the processes that calculate results and populate our internal data sources.
My day normally starts with checking up on emails, making sure that reports have refreshed correctly and answering any outstanding questions. After morning meetings are done, I am usually free to dive into the development of a new reporting module. This includes a lot of trial and error which usually takes place in a SQL environment. If I have a query finalized, I can incorporate it into a Tableau file and create a visualization using the results. Sometimes, I use Python to run checks on data quality or Excel for quick calculations. The possibilities are endless based on my coworkers’ needs.
The communication skills involved in discussing quantitative ideas with different teams are definitely something I practiced in the MATHCOUNTS team round over the years. It is important for me to explain concepts clearly, provide examples and disagree respectfully.
I was initially chosen to join a committee where each member suggests a charity to support at our company’s annual fundraiser.
MATHCOUNTS was my clear choice from the beginning because of how much I have personally benefited from their amazing work. There is also an undeniable link between the skills practiced in MATHCOUNTS and the day-to-day tasks conducted at a hedge fund. There is constant quantitative monitoring and use of creative problem solving in order to meet our goals. I figured that folks across multiple departments would see this connection, and I was very happy to be proven right.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how many of my coworkers have a strong appreciation for math. In a working environment, you tend to start off by knowing more about your coworkers’ current lives as opposed to what activities they did throughout childhood. However, in talking about MATHCOUNTS after the charity selection process was complete, I learned that other coworkers had also participated in extracurricular math teams or simply had appreciation for math as a subject.
There are STEM skills at use in a wide variety of industries. This can certainly be overwhelming to students who feel undecided. Thankfully, there is an increasing number of ways to try out a STEM subject without having to declare that subject as your college major.
Many summer programs held on college campuses allow high school students to try out a STEM subject in depth. Some colleges may also accept high school students as summer researchers in certain labs.
For incoming college students, academic departments may put on information sessions where you can learn more about a program you are considering. Certain departments also offer seminar style classes for first year students that provide an introduction to a subject without requiring you to take on a full class worth of work.
I would also suggest that college students in their second or third year consider partaking in a summer internship. Even if the internship does not turn out to be a great fit, the life experience gained in the process will help you make a more informed career decision in the future.
Finally, for young alumni of all ages, I would suggest maintaining an open dialogue with others of all ages who participate in STEM fields. This may take the form of signing up for a mentorship program, joining a stem-focused club, or reaching out to someone at your school or internship.
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! Apply by January 5.