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BCA’s Math Team Competes in South Korea

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On November 20, a group of eighteen students from BCA’s Math Team travelled to South Korea where they participated in the 2016 World Mathematics Team Championship. Numerous countries attended, including Australia, Singapore, China, Myanmar, Iran, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Bulgaria. This was the second time that our school was invited to attend this prestigious competition, the first time having been in 2013 in Beijing. BCA was one out of the two teams selected to represent the United States, the other was a team from San Diego. The actual competition lasted one day with the awards ceremony the day after while the trip itself lasted one week, which left room for recreational activities.

The math competition consisted of multiple rounds of different styles: individual, relay, and team. The team round consisted of six members working to solve one problem, while the relay round consisted of three pairs of two. In the relay round, the second partner must rely on the first partner’s answer to solve the next problem. The individual round consisted of  taking short tests. To prepare for this competition, the team practiced using sample questions and was highly successful in the competition.

BCA, in the Advanced Division, had four gold medalists in the individual round. Gold medals were presented to the top 10% of each division. Medals were awarded to David Song, Andrew Sun, Sunay Joshi, and Olivia Lee. Additionally, David Song won fourth place overall in the competition. In the team category, two BCA teams placed second and third out of the total 24 teams. The members from the second place team were David Song, June Lee, Olivia Lee, Angad Singh, Shaantam Chawla, Aakash Garg. The members of the third place team were Ben Mirtchouk, Khunpob Sereesuchart, Julia Schneidman, Sunay Joshi, Denis Mikhaylov, and Shalin Patel.

“It definitely was a meaningful experience because I got to know so many people better, both within and outside of BCA. There were many opportunities to interact with other countries and I learned a lot from them.”

– Olivia Lee (ABF 2017)

In addition to the competition, BCA students were provided with the opportunity to tour Korea and its popular cultural sites. One site they went to was the Korean Folk Village, where they ate a traditional korean meal and honed their archery skills with staff members dressed in traditional clothing called hanbok. They also visited the DMZ, a location that was a favorite of Mr. Pinyan: “It was a good history lesson, seeing how even half a century later, the artifacts of that war are still so present.” Other historical locations visited were the landing site for the Battle of Incheon and a traditional palace, a favorite of Dr. Abramson for its “nice aesthetic.”


To engage in a more modern form of Korean culture, students also attended an interesting K-pop musical hologram show that featured various k-pop groups singing their own songs in a story about attending a wizarding school. Of course, students also went shopping on the Korean streets, even stopping to try out Korean street food and the Korean McDonald’s bulgogi burgers.

“It was really awesome! The food was so good and we saw a ton of cool places like North Korea from a distance and SM town. The math competition went well too, for myself and for BCA overall. Overall it was just a really amazing trip and I’m super glad I went!”

– Jake Kaplan (AEDT 2018)

Needless to say, the math teachers who headed this trip to Korea, Mr. Pinyan and Dr. Abramson, were very proud of their students. “They did a great job, and we’re very proud of how they performed and how they behaved,” said Mr. Pinyan. Dr. Abramson also agreed: “They did very nice work. We can always trust our students to work hard and be their best.”

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The student news site of Bergen County Academies
BCA’s Math Team Competes in South Korea