Six Taft students recently traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the 22nd Harvard-MIT Mathematics Tournament (HMMT). Competing as Team Galois, Ben Le '21, Bill Lu '19, Linh Vu '21, Chloe Ye '20, First Yingyord '19, and Peter Yu '20 finished in the top 12% overall of the nearly 200 teams and close to 1,000 high school students competing in the event. Chloe was among the top 50 competitors in the Theme Round, while Team Galois placed sixteenth in the Team Round; they also earned a spot in the top 30 of the highly competitive Guts Round.
The tournament includes three components: individual tests, the Team Round, and the Guts Round. Individual tests are comprised of 10 short-answer problems, to be completed in 50 minutes; the November tournament included two individual tests. The Team Round is a 60-minute, 10-problem test where all members of a team work together. Each team-round problem has a weighted value relative to the overall scoring for the round. Finally, the Guts Round is an 80-minute team event with 36 short-answer questions on an assortment of subjects, of varying difficulty and point values. The problems are weighted by score, and divided into sets of three. At the starting signal, each team sends a runner to an assigned problem station to pick up copies of the first set of problems for each team member. As soon as a team has answers for one problem set, the runner may bring the answers to the problem station and pick up the next set. It is not expected that students will finish all the problems. Grading is immediate and scores are posted in real time.
Founded in 1998, and held twice each year, the HMMT is one of the largest and most prestigious high school mathematics competitions in the world. The tournament draws close to 1,000 students from around the globe, including top scorers from national and international math olympiads. HMMT is entirely student-organized, by students at Harvard, MIT, and nearby schools, many of whom are HMMT alumni themselves.
In photo, Team Galois, from left: Peter Yu '20, First Yingyord '19, Chloe Ye '20, Linh Vu '21, Ben Le '21, Bill Lu '19