MacArthur High School math fair club members, freshman Ryan Castrillon and junior Zexaan "Clark" Zhang, showcased their research skills during the preliminary round of the Al Kalfus Long Island Math Fair on March 1, sponsored by the Nassau County Association of Mathematics Supervisors. The students competed at Hofstra University against students from across Nassau County, with the hopes of receiving an invite back for the final round of the math fair.
Ryan's project, "Math in Sports," focused on how math is utilized in baseball, basketball and football. He spotlighted the way math affects sports, ranging from statistical reasons to strategy. Clark's project, "Riemann Hypothesis," focused on the million dollar millennium question in mathematics which has never been solved. The students presented their research to two judges and fellow math fair participants during the event.
With the guidance of club advisor Melissa Lawrence, Ryan and Clark met on a weekly basis after school to prepare for the math fair. Both students picked a mathematical topic that interested them. They then conducted research, wrote a full paper, practiced their presenting skills and created a poster. Ms. Lawrence said she enjoyed seeing how the students worked together, offering feedback during presentation practice and helping boost their peer's confidence. The students have enjoyed their time together as well and the new experiences that have been presented.
"The best part about the club is that it gives you more opportunities," said Clark. "You get to represent the school which I like doing."
MacArthur High School's math fair club provides all students who have a passion for mathematics, the opportunity to compete and strengthen their research and presentation skills.
"The nice thing about the club is that it's not for your highest achieving math students," said Ms. Lawrence. "It's for anyone who has an interest researching something in math. The club gives anyone in the building the opportunity to be able to research something and present it to a panel of people."