Heather Lee

Sophomores Joanne Lee and David Huang work a math problem. PHOTO / Heather Lee

Math team hopes to finish the season on a strong note

While some students choose to participate in athletics after school, 30 dedicated “mathletes” are working on their math skills and getting ready for their next big meet. The math team allows students the opportunity to solve challenging problems together and compete against other schools across the state.

This year, the WHS math team is off to a great start placing first among “medium-sized” schools in Massachusetts of 150-300 students per grade.

Mathematics teacher and assistant advisor Alison Langsdorf has worked to make the math team very inclusive and open to all interested students.

“A lot of people don’t know that the math team really is open to everyone,” Langsdorf said. “Many think it’s just for the students who know the most math, but we welcome anyone who wants to spend time doing extra fun math problems.”

For sophomore Ezra Gordon, the math team presents an opportunity to improve his skills and participate in a new activity.

“I am good at math and it is an in-school opportunity to try out some competitions,”  Gordon said.

Langsdorf said that she hopes students and team members get a fun and educational experience where they can learn from their mistakes.  

“Being at a competition in a room with 160 other math students should be an experience that is enjoyed,” Langsdorf said. “I also hope they solved some problems that made them think.”

Even with the high number of students involved, there are no seniors on the team this year. Math teacher and head advisor Larry Davidson recognizes the benefits of having a young team and looks forward to their growth this year and in the future.

“Despite being a young team, not only are the students doing well, but they should continue to get better for the next few years,” Davidson said.

Through her participation on the math team, Sophomore Joanne Lee notes the importance of trying new things and stepping outside of her comfort zone.

“It was from math team that I started getting more interested in all different types of math problems,” Lee said. “If you really enjoy something, even if you don’t end up getting it right, in the end it’s still worth it.”

Looking ahead to the second half of this season, Langsdorf believes that the math team has a good chance of beating their rivals, the Canton math team. So far, WHS leads Canton by 1 point in the medium-sized school division and looks forward to the opportunity to compete against them soon.

“We are hoping that over the season-long series, we will beat Canton,” Langsdorf said. “That rarely happens, but this year could be the year.”  

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