The LSU Math Circle Competition Team traveled to Boston in November to compete in HMMT, the Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament. Held alternately at Harvard and MIT, HMMT is one of the most prestigious high school mathematics competitions in the United States; over 800 top math students from around the globe, including China, Brazil, and Honduras, travel to Boston each year to compete. The tournament consists of two 50-minute individual tests, which require knowledge of subjects like geometry, algebra, and combinatorics, and two team rounds: a challenging 60-minute team test and an 80-minute speed-based "guts" round.
The Math Circle A team received 48th place overall out of 147 teams, placing them in the top third of all competitors! The Math Circle B and C teams also scored highly, with the B team coming in at 97th and the C team at 119th. All but four of the 18 students were first-time competitors, and with only four graduating seniors across all three teams, all of the remaining students plan to return to HMMT next year.
The teams consisted of students from many Louisiana schools, including Baton Rouge High, Lee High, Episcopal School of Acadiana, University High, Dutchtown, Archbishop Rummel, and Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts. Accompanying the students were Math Circle coordinator and LSU graduate student Steven Olsen and LSU math undergraduate student Amy Adair. Former LSU math undergraduate Paxton Turner, now a math graduate student at MIT, gave the students a personal tour of MIT's math department.
After sending the first-ever Louisiana team to HMMT in 2012, LSU has sent teams every year since, with consistently high levels of success: in 2015, the Math Circle A team received 18th overall out of 127 teams. The team continues to practice at LSU every Sunday in preparation for their next tournament, the Berkeley Math Tournament, in March 2017.