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Chris Peterson SM '13

Mar 8, 2011

Math Women Rock

Posted in: Life & Culture

Happy International Women's Day!

I've talked before about how MIT Women Rock, but let's broaden the pool of rockstars a bit.

The Math Prize for Girls is the country's preëminent math competition for young women in the United States. Over 200 of the top young women mathematicians in the country come together to compete for $49,000 in prize money, including a $25,000 first place prize.

PBS recently put together a short documentary on the Math Prize for Girls here:

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Notice anything interesting? That blonde girl giving the keynote address? Yep, that's blogger Kate R. '14, who placed in the top 10 in the competition when she competed in 2009.

The next Math Prize for Girls competition will be held here, at MIT, on September 17th 2011! Our office worked hard in order to help bring MPG here, in no small part because math is awesome and math girls are awesome and MPG is awesome and we like to have as much awesome as possible here on campus.

Also, congrats Kate on your speech and interview with PBS! I know that somewhere over on East Campus you are blushing red as an apple at the moment! Everybody look at Kate! She's good at math and owns hardcore!!

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

I've gone to MPFG for the last two years, and I can't wait for it to be at MIT this year!

Posted by: Diane on March 8, 2011

@Chris:
I sent an really important update and now it is in my file. The email respond says, I added it to your file for review. But in this late day, will my update still be considered or considered carefully? I am worrying about that a lot. Since the update is really important for me-it may decide my application. I don't want that BECAUSE my SAT reading score which could not tell the truth about my English is not that good, I would be rejected by MY LOVE-MIT. So what can I do now? I think I should call MIT Admissions Office tomorrow.

Posted by: Qing on March 8, 2011

@Chris:
I sent a really important update and now it is in my file. The email respond says, I added it to your file for review. But in this late day, will my update still be considered or considered carefully? I am worrying about that a lot. Since the update is really important for me-it may decide my application. I don't want that BECAUSE my SAT reading score which could not tell the truth about my English is not that good, I would be rejected by MY LOVE-MIT. So what can I do now? I think I should call MIT Admissions Office tomorrow.

Posted by: Qing on March 8, 2011

@Qing -

If you sent it in an email, and received that response, we have it and will consider it appropriately. You do not need to call.

Posted by: Chris Peterson @ MIT on March 8, 2011

Math Prize for Girls is awesome - I participated in 2009 and 2010, and it was an incredible experience. The contest is so well-organized, and you can really tell how much thought Dr. Ravi Boppana (founder) and his crew have put into ensuring that the contest is the best it can be. You get to meet really cool people who are all talented and dedicated and passionate in their own ways. It is so much fun! If you're a high school girl who is interested in attending and hasn't applied yet, I strongly recommend it!

Posted by: Luyi on March 8, 2011

Aaargh. 'Tis not a YouTube video, which means I can't watch it over mobile.

I'll post something intelligent after hearing that speech. And congrats to Kate on both accoumts - rocking the competition earlier, and being uber-cool enough to give the keynote address this time around. wink

Posted by: Vivek on March 8, 2011

I know this is kind of random but since this post is about math (or math competition…) I want to share this. Today I was playing Monopoly with my old friends and whenever I rolled a double dice, I landed on the property that is owned by someone else so I had to pay rent every turn. (yeah… I was the worst player who got knocked out the first) While waiting for game to end, I tried to find any sequence of numbers from every roll and ended up with creating a math problem unexpectedly. By the way, here is the question that I made myself…

Q) If the sum of numbers on the top surface of a die from each roll is divided by 4, the player stops rolling. What will be the expected number of rolls?
(Solution)
So let us say,
S1 = Expected number of rolls to get sum ≡1 (mod4)
S2 = Expected number of rolls to get sum ≡2 (mod4)
S3 = Expected number of rolls to get sum ≡3 (mod4)

S (Expected number of rolls until the aggregated sum is a multiple of 4)= (1)(1/6)+(S1+1)(1/6)+(S2+1)(2/6)+(S3+1)(2/6) // the probability to get a 4 at first roll is (1/6)… if the previous sum is S1, we should get a 3 only to make final outcome a multiple of 4… if the previous sum is S2, we should get either 2 or 6… if the previous sum is S3, we should get either 1 or 5 to stop rolling.

Then, we can get three equations like:
S1 = (1)(2/6)+(S1+1)(1/6)+(S2+1)(1/6)+(S3+1)(2/6)
S2 = (1)(2/6)+(S1+1)(2/6)+(S2+1)(1/6)+(S3+1)(1/6)
S3 = (1)(1/6)+(S1+1)(2/6)+(S2+1)(2/6)+(S3+1)(1/6)
If we add these three equations, we get
=>S1+S2+S3 = (5/6)S1 +(5/6)S2 +(5/6)S3 +3
=> (1/6)S1 +(1/6)S2 +(1/6)S3 = 3
So, if we plug this information to our ultimate equation to get S, we get S=4. So my point is that it will be a profit to buy the fourth property, the eighth property, and so on. I think this might be a good tip!

Posted by: Edward'15? on March 8, 2011

@Chris

Are attached links in the application being checked?

I had added a blog-page in my application form where it asked for videos,blogs etc. But the statistics of the page shows that no one from United States has viewed it.
I know it is not right of me to monitor my application in such a manner but does this mean that my blog-page will be unnoticed.

Thank you.

Posted by: Shehzad Lokhandwalla on March 8, 2011

I just saw the video on my PC. Unless a fundamental difference in neurological pathways can be proven between boys and girls, I'll always be looking at this debate from the sociological and psychological point of view. In my opinion, it's always a matter of conditioning and upbringing. A person's principles, actions and beliefs can always be expressed as a function of that person's experiences up till that point in life. But meh, that's just my opinion. Anyone else got something on their minds? And once again, congrats to Kate on her position 2 years ago.

Posted by: Vivek on March 8, 2011

MPFG is definitely awesome.My friend and I shared taxi and chatted one of the winner on the way to the airport, which is a really interesting experience. raspberry

ps. There was a very cool lady who gave a speech on the black matter during the awarding ceremony. Anyone remembered who she is? I think she's a professor at MIT.

Posted by: candide on March 9, 2011

Math is life !

Posted by: Anon on March 9, 2011

I knew we rock smile

Posted by: Banerjee on March 9, 2011

That "very cool lady" who gave the speech at Math Prize for Girls 2010 was Yale Professor of Astrophysics Priya Natarajan.

Professor Natarajan did her undergraduate work in math and physics at MIT.

You can read more about her here:

http://www.astro.yale.edu/priya/

Posted by: Mary O'Keeffe on March 9, 2011

Ah-ha! Thank you so much Mary. I got the webpage saved. Hope yal have a great MPFG event next year! I like the guestspeakers a lot!

Posted by: candide on March 10, 2011

@Chris,
Chris, I am worrying about the result again. Could you tell me, if my SAT reading score is not good, the admissions office would deny me directly without thinkthing it twice-Even if I update that my English is good enough? If my rest application is strong except SAT reading, will there any hope? Since I put so much passion and work on it, I really want there is still hope there.
Sincerely,
Qing

Posted by: Qing on March 12, 2011

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