# At Buchholz, math contest is fast, furious, fun

##### Published: Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.

##### Last Modified: Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.

For a frantic four minutes, the members of Buchholz team 3 scribbled on their papers and punched their graphing calculators, heads bowed together as they argued over the answer to the ninth calculus question.

"Are you sure?" whispered Aaron Griffith, 18, when his teammate, Alex Payne, 18, offered a solution.

"Give me an answer so I can write it down," said Melissa Carnall, 16, impatiently, as the clock ticked.

Finally, they came to a tentative consensus and Travis Hamilton, 17, thrust the piece of paper into the air - signaling the group was submitting its answer.

"The answer is 10," said Dina Stone, a Buchholz math teacher and competition proctor, once the four minutes was up.

Groans erupted from team 3's table. The four members of Buchholz Team 3 were only a few of about 400 middle and high school students from around Northeast Florida who came to compete in a Mu Alpha Theta regional math competition on Saturday morning at Buchholz High School.

For a grueling three hours, all of the students participated in both an individual written test, as well as a group competition in math levels ranging from high school algebra to calculus.

In the group competition, teams earned points by answering the question in a certain period of time. An answer submitted in the first minute earned 16 points, in the second minute earned 12 points, in the third minute earned 8 points and in the fourth minute earned 4 points.

Although Buchholz team 3 came away from the competition with only 20 out of a possible 192 points, they weren't discouraged.

"We had fun anyway," Carnall said cheerfully as she and her fellow members stood outside the cafeteria once the competition was over.

"We'll do better next time," Hamilton said.

And they all put in a good word for their calculus teacher, Mrs. Stone.

Members from a team from Oak Hall School in Gainesville also said they had fun, although the 60 points they earned wasn't quite enough to earn them a top spot.

"It's actually better than we usually get," said Farzana Faisal, 17.

The members said they were surprised how competitive some of the teams were.

"It's kind of an obsession for them," said Lesley Wharton, 18.

But for the Oak Hall team members, three hours of calculus on a Saturday morning was just about all they cared to take.

"I've had enough calculus for a year," Wharton said.

But for the students enrolled in the competition math classes at Buchholz, the season is just beginning.

Math teacher and competition coach Will Frazier said they will be going to a competition every two weeks for the next three months.

And then there is the state competition in April, where Buchholz will be the defending champions after beating out longtime frontrunner Stoneman Douglas High School last year, according to Frazier.

The Buchholz team also placed second in the national competition in Hawaii last year, he said.

Frazier credits Buchholz's math success to having an extensive lineup of different classes and a supportive school, as well as the talented group of youngsters in the Gainesville area.

"I think Gainesville gets the best pool of kids," he said.

### Florida Mu Alpha Theta Math Competition results

1st: Buchholz High School
2nd: Bolles High School, Jacksonville
3rd: Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville

1st: Aaron Blankstein, Bolles High School

2nd: Max Ogienko, Buchholz High School
3rd: Kathryn Harris, Buchholz High School

4th: Lisa Gardner, Buchholz High School

5th: Scott Gulig, Buchholz High School
6th: June Wu, Buchholz High School
7th: Rasheed Bannister, Eastside High School

8th: Courtney Sanford, Buchholz High School

9th: Archie Svetlov, Buchholz High School

10th: Kate Howland, Buchholz High School

1st: Brian Li, Lincoln Middle School
2nd: Kevin Yoon, Kanapaha Middle
3rd: Helen Miney, St. Patrick Interparish School

4th: Tina Tang, Lincoln Middle School
5th: Medha Ranka, Lincoln Middle School

6th: Katherine Qiu, Lincoln Middle School

7th: Kirsten Soucek, Kanapaha Middle School

8th: Ji Soo Kim, JW Johnson, Jacksonville

9th: Shuyun Xue, Lincoln Middle School
10th: Karen Li, Lincoln Middle School 1st: Lincoln Middle School 2nd: Kanapaha Middle School 3rd: JW Johnson, Jacksonville 4th: St. Patrick Interparish School 5th: Howard Bishop Middle School 1st: Jonathan Mei, Buchholz High School

2nd: Conrad Chou, Buchholz High School
3rd: Louie Wu, Buchholz High School
4th: Tony Wu, Buchholz High
School
5th: April Wu, Buchholz High School
6th: Michael Chen, Buchholz High School

7th: Mark Simon, Buchholz High School
8th: Kevin Fan, Buchholz High School
9th: Ted Li, Buchholz High School
10th: Nick Jiang, JW Johnson, Jacksonville

1st: Buchholz High School
2nd: JW Johnson, Jacksonville
3rd: Spruce Creek High School, Daytona
4th: Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville

5th: Bolles High School, Jacksonville 1st: John Lu, Lincoln Middle School
2nd: Wenqi Feng, Lincoln Middle School
3rd: James Tan, Lincoln Middle School
4th: Alex Choi, Lincoln Middle School
5th: Soon-Wook Kim, Buchholz High School

6th: Jonathan Wang, Oak Hall School
7th: Lucy Zhong, Lincoln Middle School
8th: Greg Paryani, Bolles High School, Jacksonville

9th: Jason Wang, Buchholz High School
10th: Lisa Avery, Buchholz High School 1st: Lincoln Middle School
2nd: Buchholz High School
3rd: Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville

4th: Oak Hall School
5th: Bolles High School, Jacksonville
1st: Christina Ren, Buchholz High School

2nd: Michael Banaszek, Eastside High School

3rd: Sue Zheng, Buchholz High School
4th: Jimmy Wong, Buchholz High School
5th: Curie Chang, Buchholz High School
6th: Lisa Gardner, Buchholz High School

7th: Victor Chou, Buchholz High School
8th: Grant McLeod, Buchholz High School

9th: David Jia, Buchholz High School
10th: Kathryn Harris, Buchholz High School

1st: Buchholz High School
2nd: Spruce Creek High School, Daytona
3rd: Eastside High School
4th: Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville

5th: Vanguard High School, Ocala 1st: Carmichael Ong, Bolles High School, Jacksonville

2nd: Gregory Hutchings, Buchholz High School

3rd : Farzana Faisal, Oak Hall School
4th: Joey Wong, Buchholz High School
5th: Justin Lu, Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville

6th : Brent Ho, Buchholz High School
7th: Jessi Shroads, Buchholz High School

8th: Sean Monagle, Bolles High School, Jacksonville

9th: Alex Riegler, Bolles High School, Jacksonville

10th: Henry Sura, Paxon High School, Jacksonville

1st: Buchholz High School
2nd: Bolles High School, Jacksonville
3rd: Oak Hall School
4th: Spruce Creek High School, Daytona
5th: Stanton College Preparatory School, Jacksonville

"Are you sure?" whispered Aaron Griffith, 18, when his teammate, Alex Payne, 18, offered a solution.

"Give me an answer so I can write it down," said Melissa Carnall, 16, impatiently, as the clock ticked.

Finally, they came to a tentative consensus and Travis Hamilton, 17, thrust the piece of paper into the air - signaling the group was submitting its answer.

"The answer is 10," said Dina Stone, a Buchholz math teacher and competition proctor, once the four minutes was up.

Groans erupted from team 3's table. The four members of Buchholz Team 3 were only a few of about 400 middle and high school students from around Northeast Florida who came to compete in a Mu Alpha Theta regional math competition on Saturday morning at Buchholz High School.

For a grueling three hours, all of the students participated in both an individual written test, as well as a group competition in math levels ranging from high school algebra to calculus.

In the group competition, teams earned points by answering the question in a certain period of time. An answer submitted in the first minute earned 16 points, in the second minute earned 12 points, in the third minute earned 8 points and in the fourth minute earned 4 points.

Although Buchholz team 3 came away from the competition with only 20 out of a possible 192 points, they weren't discouraged.

"We had fun anyway," Carnall said cheerfully as she and her fellow members stood outside the cafeteria once the competition was over.

"We'll do better next time," Hamilton said.

And they all put in a good word for their calculus teacher, Mrs. Stone.

Members from a team from Oak Hall School in Gainesville also said they had fun, although the 60 points they earned wasn't quite enough to earn them a top spot.

"It's actually better than we usually get," said Farzana Faisal, 17.

The members said they were surprised how competitive some of the teams were.

"It's kind of an obsession for them," said Lesley Wharton, 18.

But for the Oak Hall team members, three hours of calculus on a Saturday morning was just about all they cared to take.

"I've had enough calculus for a year," Wharton said.

But for the students enrolled in the competition math classes at Buchholz, the season is just beginning.

Math teacher and competition coach Will Frazier said they will be going to a competition every two weeks for the next three months.

And then there is the state competition in April, where Buchholz will be the defending champions after beating out longtime frontrunner Stoneman Douglas High School last year, according to Frazier.

The Buchholz team also placed second in the national competition in Hawaii last year, he said.

Frazier credits Buchholz's math success to having an extensive lineup of different classes and a supportive school, as well as the talented group of youngsters in the Gainesville area.

"I think Gainesville gets the best pool of kids," he said.

*Alice Wallace can be reached at (352) 374-5036 or alice. wallace@gvillesun.com*

### Florida Mu Alpha Theta Math Competition results

### STATISTICS, INDIVIDUAL WINNERS

### ALGEBRA I, INDIVIDUAL WINNERS

### ALGEBRA I, GROUP WINNERS

### GEOMETRY, INDIVIDUAL WINNERS

### GEOMETRY, GROUP WINNERS

### ALGEBRA II, INDIVIDUAL WINNERS

### ALGEBRA II, GROUP WINNERS

**PRE-CALCULUS, INDIVIDUAL WINNERS**

### PRE-CALCULUS, GROUP WINNERS

### CALCULUS, INDIVIDUAL WINNERS

### CALCULUS, GROUP WINNERS

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