BSM math league finds success in online competitions

Matt Yazvec, Staff Writer

The Benilde-St. Margaret’s math league has found great success in a national league called “Interstellar Math Madness” in which they compete against high schools around the country. The Red Knights have recently defeated schools from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska and have tied a school from California in these competitions.

Currently, BSM’s math league is ranked 81st in the country in a pool of 500 schools. In November the season will conclude with a seed-based bracket competition to choose a national champion. Jean Nightingale, the head of the Benilde-St. Margaret’s math league and Senior High math teacher, attributed BSM’s success to the students’ interest and enjoyment. “Having fun makes it more interesting which makes you try harder,” Nightingale said.

She also mentioned that the sheer number of students who participate in the BSM Math League definitely make the team more competitive in the Interstellar Math Madness League. This is because of the nature of the competition. On certain Tuesday mornings at precisely 7:17 a.m. the students who chose to participate in that certain competition will log onto the math questions of which there are usually eight to twelve and he or she gets thirty minutes to answer all thee questions. Ms. Nightingale then will submit the top ten scores of all the BSM competitors, add them up, and then that will be the score in the competition.

A possible reason for BSM’s success is that we have 63 members on the math league team. Now only thirty or so will compete in any one competition but thirty scores is still a large domain to get high scores from.

BSM is also going to participate in the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Math League completions which starts on November 3rd and in that league there are meets every 3 weeks. The style of competition in the MSHSL is drastically different than that of the Interstellar Math Madness. The MSHSL competition consists of a division of seven schools meeting up in the same place, every three weeks for six competitions.

Each team may score points at each meet through the four individual competitions and the team competition at each meet. At the end of the six competitions the team with the highest cumulative score will advance to the state meet. BSM has had great outcome at the state meets in the past as BSM has gotten first or second for the last fifteen years.