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State math coverage - Jason Lindquist
Idle ramblings of an idle mind
State math coverage
Eric Zorn covers the ICTM State Math Contest, which I see has been moved to UIUC from its original home at ISU. Eric's excuse is his son is a senior on the Payton Prep math team. There still oughtta be a story about it each year. Naperville North's 10-year run in the 4A division came to an end this year. Glenbrook North finished 9th, just a point behind 8th place Lyons Twp. And South was 27 points behind us in 10th.

I see they've updated the rules a bit. Back In The Day™, the rule was students were allowed "one handheld, non-printing calculator". Now, the rule reads:
Each student is allowed to use any number of calculators that are self-contained and battery operated; however, each student may use at most one desk. No computers are allowed in the competitions. Removable or interchangeable parts are permitted. Electrical outlets in the room may not be used.
I guess you can't bring an HP Libretto or an Oqo running Mathematica.

IMSA still blows. :P
4 comments or Leave a comment
dannyman From: dannyman Date: April 29th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)


I'll leave it to the high school students to split hairs, but I'm sure the line between "battery operated calculator" and "battery operated computer" can get extremely fuzzy. "Back in the day" I looked up computer in the dictionary and found that it was a machine for doing math.

jlindquist From: jlindquist Date: April 29th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hrmmm

Of course! Each year, I'd ask, if I could build a mount for the school's Mac Portable that would allow me to hold it with one hand, could I bring it and run Mathematica on it?

I never got a good answer to that question. Didn't matter, I wasn't strong enough to hold onto that beast for 50 minutes anyways.

Anyhow, this is an environment with math teachers on one side, and top math students on the other. It ain't athletics where you potentially have retards on all three sides. :-) The hair-splitting gets smacked down with quick STFUs.
tambreet From: tambreet Date: May 1st, 2008 06:22 am (UTC) (Link)
As an Illinois State Math Team Champion circa 1990, I have to say that allowing more than one calculator is ridiculous. Why would you need more than one? Back In The Day™, I didn't even like allowing the one. Most of the questions were written so that a calculator wouldn't help, but it still seemed to me to give a big disadvantage to any students/schools who couldn't afford a $120 calculator (although perhaps they are cheaper now).

jlindquist From: jlindquist Date: May 1st, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah... I had my HP, but it was more for peace of mind. It let me double-check my methods quickly. Why the hell you'd want more than one calculator, I don't get either. If the technology has improved over the last 15 years, why wouldn't you be doing more, with less, and for cheaper?
4 comments or Leave a comment