June 26, 2022 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Culver City Mathletes Shine at E = MC2

Submitted by the Culver City Unified School District

Culver City should be proud of the outstanding achievement of many of its fourth- and fifth-grade Math Olympians – CCUSD’s Mathletes. On Saturday, April 30, Linwood E. Howe Elementary School hosted the 15th Annual Los Angeles Countywide 4fourth- and fifth-grade Math Olympiads Tournament. The problems in the tournament are complex math word problems. 

Traditionally, the 30 participating schools met in person. This year, it was a hybrid-Zoom tournament: all 108 participants logged into Zoom for the individual event, and mathletes met in person for the team event. Fifty-five CCUSD mathletes on 11 teams met in the Linwood E. Howe cafeteria, while teams from Santa Monica, Torrance, El Segundo and Manhattan Beach met in-person at their schools.

Individual Awards are based on merit, and three Culver City mathletes achieved a 10 out of 10 for Gold: Chloe Yoshikawa, El Rincon; Isaac Salzmann, Linwood Howe; and Noah Kim, Farragut.

Three mathletes achieved a 9 out of 10 for Silver: Duncan Nassar, El Rincon; and Peyton Katigbak and William Carroll, both from Farragut.

Three El Marino mathletes achieved a 8 out of 10 for Bronze: Andrew Fresquez, Linka Tiesiera and Russell Bui.

In the team event, each five-member team had 30 minutes to work together to solve 10 problems. Farragut mathletes Alexander Reid. Eli Schinderman, Henry Held, Melania Sowell, and William Carroll received the second-place trophy for the school. In the Team Event, both Towers, a Torrance elementary school, and Farragut had 9 out of 10 correct. The two schools competed in a three-problem tiebreaker. Both had three correct answers, but Towers received first place because it finished first.

To prepare for the tournament, mathletes from El Marino, La Ballona and Linwood Howe met weekly over Zoom with former Math Olympians from CCMS and CCHS to practice complex, multl-step math problems. El Rincon and Farragut mathletes met at their schools.    

“Our goal in organizing the tournament is to create an environment where girls and boys who enjoy the challenges of mathematics can be with others who feel the same way, hopefully stimulating them to pursue STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics),” said Jason Frand, who organized the event.

Every Mathlete received a certificate of participation and a tournament tee-shirt. Most importantly, they get the thrill and experience of academic competition in a challenging and fun environment. 

The Excellence in Mathematics Culver City Tournament is sanctioned by the international Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools organization in New York. Retired Linwood Howe Principal Rosie LaBriola established the tournament with retired UCLA professor Jason Frand in 2007, and they want to thank the volunteer coaches and parents who made this year’s tournament possible.

“We also want to thank the Culver City Educational Foundation for the paying the registration for our 11 Culver City teams and covering the additional costs this year for technology services,” Frand added.

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