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March 5, 2013 > Math really does count!

Math really does count!

By Miriam G. Mazliach

The New Haven School District has a lot to be proud of including the Alvarado Middle School (AMS) student team that recently won third place at the East Bay Chapter competition of Mathcounts, for middle school/junior high students.

Mathcounts is a large scale national middle school competition, created in 1984, to promote the enjoyment of mathematics and problem solving. (

Geeta Arora, who serves as the coach for the team, explains that the group just started 10 months ago. "I found out about Mathcounts and my daughter and her friends began during the summer. They participated in several other competitions as well," says Arora.

Out of the 16 teams participating in the recent Mathcounts competition, the Alvarado group had some of the youngest students overall on their official team, with three sixth graders and one seventh grader. First place winning team, Diablo Vista from Danville and winner of second place, Black Pine Circle School of Berkeley, were all eighth grade students, except for one seventh grader.

The competition focused on Algebra, Geometry, Probability, Number Theory and Problem Solving. Arora states that the questions were harder than those typically seen at school.

Alvarado's official four-member team participants were: Daphne Pan, Riya Arora, Albert Pei and Sanjim Uppal. Remaining "mathletes" from AMS, Haaris Kadri, Arshia Deep, Alex Fong, Serena Lee, and Michelle Yi, all did extremely well.

Arora, a parent of one of the AMS team members, has previously worked in the computer industry and says math was always one of her favorite subjects.

"The kids were nervous, but I reassured them that even though the questions would be difficult, they could do well," she added. "They were excited to win the third place trophy. I couldn't have asked for more!"

Alvarado Middle School's Mathcounts team has been selected to participate in state level competition at Stanford University on March 23.

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