Everest, Enlightenment, and Cash: Be like Andrew Wiles and join the Math Team!

This morning I gave an announcement in assembly on why I think everyone should join the Math Team: Everest, Enlightenment, and Cash!

Everest, enlightenment, and cash

Who wants to see the hardest math problem in the world?

What if I told you everyone in this room could understand the problem?

Let’s get warmed up.

Who can tell me the answer to any of these questions?

If you had a calculator, could you solve them all?

3,4,5 and 5,12,13 and 7,24,25 are called Pythagorean Triples. How many of them do you think there are?

More than a millennium ago, people started looking for other triples… for higher powered triples with all positive integers. Solutions to equations like these:

As hard as people searched, no one could seemingly find any. But not finding something doesn’t mean it’s not necessarily there. So people kept searching… and searching.

Are you ready to see the hardest math problem in the world?

In 1637 Pierre de Fermat wrote in the margins of a famous book called Arithmetica that he had a proof but it was too large to fit into the margin.

Mathematicians kept looking for a proof. For 50 years, for 100 years… for 300 years.

The search ended in 358 years later in 1995 when Andrew Wiles, a professor at Princeton, completed a proof.

Why? What’s the value? Why did Andrew Wiles devote 7 years of his life to solving a problem that had fascinated him since the age of 10?

Everest: The tallest mountain in the world of math was THERE.

Enlightenment: In the process of creating his proof, Andrew Wiles created who new fields of math that help us understand how the Universe works.

Cash: He has been awarded a tremendous amount of money for his proof. In fact, in 2000, the Clay Institute named seven “Millennium Problems”. A correct solution to any one of the problems results in a \$1,000,000 prize. At of today, six of the problems remain unsolved.

If you have any interest in climbing Everest, finding enlightenment, and becoming rich, then….

Join the math team.

2/17: Anyone can show up to participate in the New England Math League. After 4 rounds we are holding a very strong 23rd place out of all 141 teams in New England, and 14 out of 80 in MA. No sign up is necessary. Just show up!

2/22: Come to New York City with us! We have a couple spots left on our bus! Sign up right here!

2/25: Sign up to compete in the American Mathematics Competition. This is the first level competition to find the team that will represent the United States in the International Math Olympiad. Sign up right here!

Remember, you can have it all: Everest, Enlightenment, and Cash.

NEML Standings, AMC 10/12 Signups, and NYC!

The next Math Team meeting will take place Tuesday, 2/3 from 3 to 3:30pm in SH25. Anyone is welcome to attend!

+NEML
The league-wide results for the 4th round of the New England Math League are in… and we did very well! Our current overall score of 98 puts us at 23rd in all of New England (out of 141 teams) and 12th (out of 80 teams) in MA!

A special shoutout goes out to Umi Keezing and Shrley Zhou for their perfect scores!

You can view the current league-wide score report document, and complete team stats on the results page.

The next NEML competition will be on Tuesday, 2/17 from 2:35 to 3pm in SH25. You must start the competition before 3pm.

+AMC 10/12
The American Mathematics Competition  10 & 12 will take place on Wednesday, 2/25 from 8:30 to 10am in Plimpton. The competition is open to any Williston student who registers online by Wednesday, 2/11 @ 3pm.

The AMC 10 is a 25-question, 75-minute, multiple choice examination in secondary school mathematics containing problems which can be understood and solved with algebra and geometry concepts. The AMC 12 is a 25-question, 75-minute, multiple choice examination in secondary school mathematics containing problems which can be understood and solved with pre-calculus concepts. Two different versions of the contests are given on two dates, about two weeks apart, in February. Each AMC 10 and AMC 12 contest contain about 12 of the same math problems.

In general, all 11th graders and above should sign up for the AMC 12 and all 10th graders and below should sign up for the AMC 10. Both exams are given at the same time and you can only take one.

+NYC Trip
The Williston Math Team will be making a day trip to New York City on Sunday, 2/22. We’ll be visiting the Museum of Math, eating a couple fun meals, and exploring Manhattan!

You can read complete details about the trip right here. In order to participate in the trip, you must sign up online by Friday, 2/6 @ 3pm.

New York City Trip!

We’re headed to New York City on Sunday, 2/22!

Here’s what you need to know:
– 14 spots are available
– In order to sign up, you must fill out the short online signup form and hand Mr. Seamon \$10.
– The trip leaves at 7am on Sunday, 2/22 and returns that day by 10pm.
– Signups are due by Friday, 2/6 at 6pm. [I fully expect this trip to fill out well before then.]

Trip itinerary:
7am: Depart from the parking lot behind the Chapel
8:30am: Take the train from New Haven to NYC
11am: Eat lunch in NYC
Noon to 3pm: Visit the Museum of Math!
3 to 6pm: Explore NYC [5th Avenue! Central Park! The Hayden Planetarium!]
6pm: Dinner in NYC
7:30pm: Train back to New Haven
10pm: Arrive back on campus