Adding on to their previous success

Beginning with a strong start to their season, the Diamond Bar High School math team exceeded expectations compared to previous years, placing 22nd overall at the Math Madness tournament, with competitions taking place every Wednesday from October to December.

As a large portion of the team graduates each year, the team is constantly changing and evolving. This season, the team took on many new freshmen members.

“Our biggest strength [was] the amount of participation, especially for underclassmen,” math team president senior Andrew Huang said. “It’s nice to see so many people coming to support our team.”

Over the past few months, the team has participated in a few competitions, including the California Math League and American Mathematics Competitions. Despite this, the team still consistently looks to improve on their preexisting skills and build up a stronger base for their team to succeed at future competitions. 

“Self-studying is incredibly important since we can’t teach everything, but we’ve had a couple workshops where we’ve gone over some important topics and reviewed previous competition problems,” Huang said.

In addition to the mathematical aspect of the competitions, the team puts an emphasis on the importance of community and unity for its members.

“We have a few students who are real math stars and have been working on competition math since they were in elementary school,” math team advisor Dena Lordi said. “These students are excellent role models for the younger team members. We have a strong core of officers who are dedicated to planning tutoring sessions and to helping the team thrive.”

Though the team has been placing well, there is always room to progress, according to the members. Through a trickle down effect, club officers are motivating their members to reach their fullest potentials in competition math.

“I’ve learned that it’s important to give direction to the team, so I’ve made conscious efforts to improve my leadership skills by networking with the officers and utilizing their unique skills and abilities for the best of our team,” Huang said.

One of the most prominent features of success is coming back from failure. Following last years’ disappointing loss by a tie-breaker, the team was optimistic to perform better this year.

“I’m really proud of the team’s excellent performance this year,” Huang said. “We have a really bright team that didn’t get discouraged and always showed up and tried their best.”

However, this year, the team was knocked out of the competition roughly halfway through, placing 22nd overall. Despite this setback, the team is optimistic to continue to improve upon their performance.

“We won this tournament my first year as an advisor, but that was in a much lower division,” Lordi said. “The tournament organizers bumped us up to the open division after that, and we have been enjoying the tougher competition and improving each year against schools with advantages we do not have, like a formal class dedicated to competition math.”

Despite these challenges, the team is striving to improve for the rest of the year, consistently meeting and focusing on both individual and group improvement. 

“I think we are moving in the right direction. Math is an adventure that should be fun, with all of its excitement, its diversions, its wins and its losses,” Lordi said.