Waterford Math Students Excel in State Competitions

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Over the past few weeks, Waterford Mathletes have competed in various math competitions around the state.

Utah State Math Competition
Waterford Students at the Utah State Math Contest

Utah State Math Contest

First, on the first Tuesday of our Spring Break, over 30 Waterford Class VII-XII students participated in the Utah State Math Contest sponsored this year by the University of Utah. Students worked for 45 minutes on their exams, and then enjoyed a pizza party. While we do not yet have the results for that exam, we are confident our students did well.

USA Junior Math Olympiad

students and alumni
Kiran and Liam with alum at the MATHCOUNTS competition

Next, Kiran R. (class IX) and Liam R. (class VII) both qualified for the highest exam in the Mathematical Association of America's competition series, the USA Junior Math Olympiad. The qualification process for this exam is rigorous and no other students from Utah qualified. This exam is a two-day nine-hour exam with six proof-based questions. Kiran and Liam took this exam on Tuesday and Wednesday and we are anxiously awaiting the results.

MATHCOUNTS State Competition

Finally, this past weekend Waterford's Middle School Math Team coached by Kiran R. (class IX) and advised by Hiram Golze, math teacher, had unprecedented success at the Utah State MATHCOUNTS competition held at Salt Lake Community College. First, seven Waterford Middle Students qualified to attend based on the results from the chapter competition: Hailey P. (VI), Catriona K. (VII), Zoe L. (VII), Aadi M., (VII), Liam R. (VII), Fiona J. (VIII), and Jerry X. (VIII).

Students and Mr. Golze after the MATHCOUNTS competition
Students and Mr. Golze after the MATHCOUNTS competition

Also, we had five students score in the top ten positions after the written rounds of competition: Liam R. (1st), Aadi M. (5th), Jerry X. (7th), Fiona J. (8th), and Hailey P. (10th). Next, Liam R. finished the competition by taking first place in the Countdown Round, the lightning-fast, head-to-head competition. Finally, the Waterford team's combined efforts earned them the top finish in the state, which means that Kiran R. will coach the team representing Utah—including his brother Liam—at the National MATHCOUNTS competition in Washington, D.C. later this spring. It was a great day, and the students were even joined by Waterford alumni and former mathletes Tarun Martheswaran '21, Shilp Shah '22, and Tanisha Martheswaran '18 who came to cheer on this young generation of mathletes. 

Hiram Golze Hiram Golze grew up in the Salt Lake area. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 2013 with a B.S. in Mathematics. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to pursue math further, earning an M.S. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Teaching Mathematics in 2017. During his time as a student, Hiram kept busy by teaching students in math circles and math teams. He helped students prepare for contests, while also introducing them to the beauty of mathematics. He has a passion for helping students understand difficult mathematical concepts. Aside from mathematics, he enjoys hiking in Utah's mountains.

Nancy Woller Nancy Woller is currently serving as the Chair for Waterford’s Mathematics Department and holds the Heuston Endowed Chair for Teaching. Nancy has always viewed herself as a teacher. At the age of 17, Nancy was recruited to substitute for her math teacher in her old high school.  There was no looking back and from that point on, teaching and education have been her passion. She came to Waterford over 20 years ago after teaching in Oregon, California, New York and Utah and has experience teaching at all levels from elementary to secondary to university. Nancy holds a BS in Psychology and an MA in Mathematics, both from Brigham Young University and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah. Nancy has four children (all Waterford alumni) and enjoys the rare times when all can gather. She loves to travel and has been known to unexpectedly run into Waterford alumni in places as far afield as Queenstown, New Zealand, a street corner of New York City, an airport in Manchester, England, and even in an In-and-Out Burger in Las Vegas. Besides teaching and spending time with her family, her favorite thing to do is to listen to people’s stories.