When a team of the best mathematical minds in the school put in tremendous effort and pooled together their skills, they accomplished something great.
On April 12th, seniors Emily Bixler, Viraj Govani and Aidan Hanley and junior Dominique Smith-Rodriguez competed against 60 other competitors from 15 other schools in the Millersville High School Math Contest.
With combined individual and team scores, the team ranked first place in the competition overall with 111 points. In the 31 years Cedar Crest has competed, the best the team had ever ranked was third.
“I mean, I knew we had a pretty good team, and I was hoping to place in the top four, I think that would have been pretty good,” said team adviser Shane Thomas. “I didn’t expect us to end up in first, no. I’m incredibly pleased with our performance.”
In the individual section, Govani placed first, Bixler third and Hanley and Smith-Rodriguez tied for 13th.
“I think it was definitely more exciting than other math contests in the past since the questions seemed accomplishable,” said Govani.
All members of the team had been involved in various math competitions in the past. The seniors have all participated in some competition since their sophomore year.
“Having done this for multiple years, it felt easier than it had in previous years,” said Bixler. “I think that’s what contributed to our team score and our individual score being higher. We are a more experienced team this year.”
Govani, the youngest senior in the class, earned 20 points on the individual section.
“I think it was an outstanding accomplishment especially since it seemed to validate a part of me that liked math,” said Govani. “Of course it also showed me that age isn’t really a limitation.”
Two years ago, the team finished in eighth place, and last year, the team came in third.
“We worked so well as a team, I was legitimately shocked,” said Hanley. “[My teammates] were all really solid, and we did way better than last year.”
This was Smith-Rodriguez’s first year participating in the Millersville competition, though he has attended similar contests at Dickinson and Bucknell since his freshman year.
“I love the math competitions,” said Smith-Rodriguez. “I love math in general, and these give me a sort of higher level and advanced experience. I enjoy being challenged like this.”