Nov, 2017:

I’ve tallied the results from Sept to Nov, 2017.  Congrats to

Julia, Audrey, Abhay, Neel and Christina!

For the book prize, I picked The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh. It is a fascinating book. Do you know if the following equation is true?


You can try your calculator, but it won’t help.  Your calculator most likely cannot calculate 3987^{12}  precisely.  However, if you read the book you’ll see a 3-word explanation as to why the equation couldn’t possibly be true!




March 5, 2017:  A Tap-into-Chatham article

Today we are giving out book prizes to top performers from Nov 2016 to Feb 2017.  Congrats to

 Alec, Audrey, Spencer, Julia, Jason, Stephen, Gyan and Om!


  1. When I wrote my reflection on the math corner at the end of Nov, I was eager to have more female mathletes.  Indeed, Jason brought his sister Julia, and Audrey joined with her brothers Alec and Spencer.  Welcome!
  2. Jason recommended a book on the golden ratio phi.  I’m really excited to give out books on this magic number as the prize.   Thank you, Jason!

Nov 13, 2016:

This is the 2nd year that I’ve run the math corner.  Most participants are returning mathletes from last year.  Here are my reflections of the season.

  1. I’m particularly touched by the continued participation from Rishi and Abhay, as Rishi has moved to CA and Abhay to India.  I hope you stay with the math corner!
  2. We also have new comers, Siddhant and Allen. Welcome!
  3. Sadly, there is ZERO participation from female mathletes this year.  (Last year, we had a couple.)  For next season, please bring your sister, cousin, friend or a neighbor!
  4. I’ve tallied the results from the submissions since Sept.  Congrats to

Abhay, Gyan, Jason, Om, Rishi and Stephen!

As a prize, I’ve picked the following book.  I think it is fitting to read a statistics book that might shed light on why polling can go so wrong.

Oct, 2016:  I am hosting 2 face-to-face sessions for the upcoming AMC8 test. We are meeting Saturday evenings 5-7pm.  AMC8 registration is through JerseySTEM.

Date:   4:00pm, Tuesday, November 15, 2016.
Location:  Chatham Middle School

Apr 2, 2016: We gave out another round of prizes to reward top performers for the past 2 months. Congratulations to Gyan, Jason, Peter, Rishi and Stephen!

This time the prize is a  book called  The Man Who Knew Infinity by by Robert Kanigel.ramanujan

The book is a biography of a legendary Indian mathematician Ramanujan.  A movie, based on this book, is coming out soon.  I look forward to seeing it!

Jan 31, 2016: We gave out the third round of prizes to reward top performers for the past 2 months. Congratulations to Gyan, Jason, Om, Peter, Rishi and Stephen!


This time the prize is a  book called The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum. The book is about the birth of forensic science in the early 1900s with thrilling murder mysteries.


The prize giving was part of the AMC8 celebration for those who took the test with the JerseySTEM Chapter last November.  Some of the Math Corner regulars came top of the Chapter. Congratulations! (Check out a Tap-into-Chatham article.)

Nov 20, 2015: We gave out another round of prizes to reward top performers for the time period Oct 17-Nov 20. Congratulations to

Abhay H., Aryaan J., Emily D., Jason L., Om D., Stephen A., Sebastian W. and Tanvi N!

This time the prize is a book called What is the Name of This Book? by Raymond M. Smullyvan. This wonderful book is full of riddles and logic questions.   “If a rooster lays an egg on a roof with 2 slanted sides, one at a 60-degree angle and the other at a 70-degree angle, which side of the roof will the egg fall off?”  Do you know the answer?

what is the name of this book

Nov, 2015:  I am hosting 3 face-to-face sessions for the upcoming AMC8 test. We are meeting Sunday afternoons 3-5pm.  AMC8 registration is through JerseySTEM.

Date:   4:30pm, Tuesday, November 17, 2015.
Location:  Chatham High School rooms A109 and A111
Registration:, click “Register”

Oct 30, 2015 A Tap-into-Chatham article

We gave out the first round of prizes on Friday, Oct 30 2015, in Tech: Vineyard in Chatham, to reward top performers for the time period of Sept 12 – Oct 16.  Congratulations to

Jason L., Om D., Sebastian W., Stephen A. and Tanvi N!

The books given out were A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson and Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal.
short history of nearly everythingsteve jobs







The prize giving was part of a monthly event at Tech: Vineyard hosted by JerseySTEM.  Although I guiltily skipped the rest of the program for a Halloween party (like many of you), I heard from my family that it was a fun filled evening. There was a live demo of a drone together with an announcement of an upcoming JerseySTEM program on drones. Prof. Konsolaki from Rutgers then gave a fascinating talk on Alzheimer’s, including how it affects the brain and the ongoing research efforts to understand and combat the disease. She showed videos in which transgenic flies were much friskier in old age than the “original” versions.   The evening finished with a movie on optical illusions, which showed many examples in which human brains play tricks on visual perception.  Not only can we, intelligent human beings, be misled about colors, sizes and motions of an object, but sometimes we can even confuse a fake hand with our own!

September 2015:  The launch of Sophie’s Math Corner

Hello Middle-School Mathletes!

I am Sophie Andrews, a freshman at Chatham High School (CHS).  I am creating this website for daily practice of AMC8 and Mathcounts problems.

Background: AMC stands for the American Mathematics Competitions and the AMC8 test is designed for students in 8th grade or under.  AMC8 is a 40-minute, 25-multiple-choice-question test. Each correct answer scores one point, and wrong or unanswered questions score no points — feel free to guess if you have no idea🙂   The problems focus heavily on problem solving skills, covering a range of difficulty levels and a range of topics, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, counting and probability, and number theory.  The test starts with easy problems that require simple calculations but finishes with hard ones that require some serious thinking.

When you are in high school, you can continue with the AMC10/12 tests which take place every February. High scorers of AMC10/12 are then invited to participate in the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME), which eventually leads to the US Math Olympiad and the International Math Olympiad (IMO). Well, if this sounds super nerdy, or scary, or exciting, or motivating, I want to tell you that AMC8 is fun.

Since 2013, Mr. Bontempo (math teacher at CMS, Chatham Middle School) has run a CMS team for Mathcounts, a popular middle school math competition. Although AMC8 and Mathcounts differ in format (team vs individual, with calculator vs without, multiple choice vs short answer), they have a lot in common mathematically and both enforce problem solving skills.  I was on the CMS team in Feb 2014 and 2015, and it was an amazing eye-opening experience to see competition beyond Chatham.

My mission: If you google AMC8, you will find many past tests and their solutions online. I’m creating this webpage for you to practice some every day in your spare time, so you can become familiar with the style of the problems when AMC8 arrives!  I’m also thinking about hosting a few face-2-face sessions. Please let me know if you are interested! If you are in CHS and would like to help posting AMC problems on this website or tutoring the f-2-f sessions, please also contact me.

Contact: Email Sophie Andrews (CMS ’15, CHS ’19) at

How to navigate: The menu bar is above the painting School of Athens. (Do you recognize Euclid and Pythagoras doing mathematics in the painting?) Clicking “Archive” will lead you to previously posted problems. The current problems are under the tab of the current month.


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