AoPS Update: News from the Academies, MOP Starts, Heartwarming Tales of Math Students, and more

June 5, 2019

New feature coming soon to Beast Academy Online

This week, Beast Academy students will see a new feature that parents have been asking for: the ‘Play List’! The Play List gives students a way to see every practice lesson, Guide book section, and video, listed in order. This will help students keep track of what they’ve completed and decide what to do next. Students can reference the Play List at any time by clicking the small tab near the top-left while playing BA Online!

New AoPS Academy in Pleasanton, CA

Great news for Bay Area families! We’re opening our third Bay Area location of AoPS Academy, this time in Pleasanton! This new campus doesn’t have a firm opening date yet, but we hope to be ready for students in Fall 2019. You can join the Pleasanton Mailing List to hear when we’re ready to start accepting applications for admission.

Pleasanton is one of 11 AoPS Academy locations across the country—and we’re still expanding. Got an idea where we should open our next campus? Let us know!

Johns Creek Campus Open for Enrollment

If you haven’t heard by email already, AoPS Academy Johns Creek is officially accepting applications for enrollment for Fall 2019. Families in the Atlanta, Georgia area will want to visit the Johns Creek application page to get started filling out applications for their children and requesting admissions consultations. Our Johns Creek staff  are excited to start meeting with you and figuring out the right math and language arts courses for your kids!

Sarah Seales talks about her non-traditional path to mathematics

Sarah Seales’ Story: How a nontraditional college student became a mathematician

When Sarah Seales started college more than a decade ago, she struggled in a required precalculus course. “There were a bunch of mathematical objects on the board,” writes Sarah, “like functions, and \(e^x\), and logarithms and I was completely lost.” She worried that teachers who had told her that she wasn’t “a math person” were right.

But then Sarah read a note in her textbook about nineteenth-century French mathematician Évariste Galois, who failed the entrance examination for France’s most prestigious mathematical institution as a teenager. Although Galois had to enroll at an inferior university, he started doing original research in polynomial equations and published his first paper a year later.

Inspired by Galois’s curiosity and grit, Sarah started solving problems in the back of the Mathematical Association of America’s Math Horizons magazine. And now, in 2019, she’s been a teaching assistant and grader in the AoPS Online school for four years!

How’d Sarah go from not understanding functions to grading other students’ calculus solutions? Read Sarah’s remarkable story here.

Math Olympiad Summer Program (MOP) Starts

The Math Olympiad Summer Program, which is held at Carnegie Mellon and starts on Tuesday, June 4, is the last step in the process of choosing the six-person US team for the International Mathematical Olympiad. Students qualify for MOP by earning the very highest scores on the United States of American Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) and Junior Mathematical Olympiad (USAJMO). They’ll spend three weeks at MOP studying math, taking both the Team Selection Test Selection Test and the Team Selection Test (yes, you read that right—it’s a mouthful), and hanging out. The team for next year is chosen from this year’s students!

On July 14, this year’s US team will arrive in Bath, UK, for the beginning of the 60th Annual International Mathematical Olympiad!

We couldn’t be prouder of these students, most of whom have been taking AoPS Online courses for years.

If you’re curious about MOP and the IMO, you might enjoy the 2007 documentary Hard Problems, in which—if you look hard enough—you may see several current and former AoPS staff members!

Follow-Up News from MATHCOUNTS

Those of you in Pennsylvania will already know that 2019 was a big year for middle school math! That’s right—for the first time in the competition’s 36-year history, a girl has taken the top spot in the state’s MATHCOUNTS competition (and she didn’t do too shabby at national MATHCOUNTS, either).

The dedication and passion for math of twelve-year old seventh grader Vivian Loh, who lives near Pittsburgh with her family, would be worth celebrating even if other female students had been winning Pennsylvania MATHCOUNTS for years.

But it’s especially cool that Vivian has done so. “I think it’s good for other girls to win also,” she says. “Like maybe next year. And the year after that.”
Find out how she prepared here.

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