Statement of Purpose
This will give you information about the function and purpose of the Mathematics League. Math contests give students an educationally enriching opportunity to participate in an academically-oriented activity and to gain recognition for mathematical achievement. Our main goal is educational: we promote enjoyment and study of mathematics by organizing contests for grades 4-12. Our contests help to enrich mathematics programs. Each contest covers topics appropriate to the contest grade level. Our well-written questions cover a variety of difficulty ranges and involve topics of interest to above-average students. The key is to encourage students to enjoy a challenge and to learn from it to find problem-solving discussions stimulating. This challenge is what prompts many youngsters to enjoy puzzle books! The enrichment we provide is a positive experience for students.
Our main concern is preparing items that stimulate class discussions. Steve Conrad, Dan Flegler, and Adam Raichel have primary authorship responsibility. Steve Conrad was problem editor of The Mathematics Student, an official journal of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He has served on the College Board's Mathematics SAT II Test Development Committee and has spoken at numerous NCTM National and regional conventions. Adam Raichel is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard University’s Law School. Our consultants include Michael Selby (retired) of the University of Windsor, Ontario; Paul Campbell of Beloit College, Beloit, WI; Martin Badoian, former math coordinator for Canton, MA; Dick Gibbs (retired) of Ft. Lewis College, Durango, CO. Dan Flegler, winner of Princeton University’s Distinguished Teaching award is the former math coordinator for Waldwick, N.J. Mr. Badoian, Mr. Flegler, and Mr. Conrad have each received Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching from President Reagan. Mr. Conrad received an award from the Mathematical Association of America for Distinguished High School Teaching. Prof. Campbell is an editor of Mathematics Magazine and the UMAP Journal, official journals of the Mathematical Association of America. Prof. Gibbs has been a problem editor of School Science and Mathematics and chairman of the AHSME contest committee. Mr. Flegler is a former associate editor of the New Jersey Mathematics Teacher. Mr. Badoian was an official of Mathcounts.
On our HS contests, an interested 9th or 10th grader should be able to solve 3 to 5 of the 6 problems. Our 6th question is challenging for the most gifted students. For grades 4-8, all students can achieve success on the first half of our (annual) contests, while the last half should prove challenging to the best students. Our contests introduce students to new ideas. Teachers use our questions to present new topics or enhance discussions of old ones. Each school receives certificates of achievement for its highest scoring students on each grade level. For grades 6-8, we also award plaques at the regional and League levels. Although contests for grades 4, 5, and Algebra Course 1 are intra-school and non-competitive, each school receives a book to award to its highest-scoring student. On the 6th, 7th and 8th grade contests, each school receives a score report booklet listing the names of the 25 highest scoring students and schools in the League and the names of the 4 highest scoring students and schools on each level in each localized (county) contest region.