South Orangetown Central School District

Family members, school and district administrators celebrated the induction of 28 Tappan Zee High School students into Mu Alpha Theta, the national mathematics honor society, on May 29. The addition of new members increased the chapter’s total membership to 64 students across grades 9-12. The ceremony was conducted by the 2018-2019 officers, President Joseph Grammatica, Vice President Logan Tabor, Treasurer Yena Shin and Co-Secretaries Robert Siegel and Liam Hehir.

To be eligible for induction, students must have at least a two-year average of 95 or a three-year average of 90 or greater in their math coursework, perform 14 hours of tutoring/community service and complete an independent math project.

Mu Alpha Theta promotes math appreciation within the school community by organizing and staffing games at the annual Mu Fest celebration. Members also compete in the MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge, the Mathematical Association of America’s American Mathematics Competition and on the TZHS Math Team, the Rockland County champs for 11 of the past 12 years.

In his address, alumnus Alex Li (‘16) discussed things he wished he knew when he was in high school. “College math is more like elementary school math than high school math. It’s about solving riddles and problems. At the start of the week, your professor gives you problem sets. You think about them, talk with friends about them and come back at the end of the week to try and solve them,” he explained. “It’s more creative and collaborative.”

Alex expressed appreciation for his high school teachers, noting that the personal attention and ability to attend office hours whenever needed contrasted sharply with college courses in which professors often don’t know students’ names and expect them to learn material on their own. Now a rising senior at Cornell University majoring in electrical and computer engineering, Alex said, “I wish I learned more things independently–the importance can’t be overstated. I have friends working on cool projects they developed by expanding on what they learned outside of class. Explore math and other areas that you’re interested in on your own.”

At the close of the ceremony, the 2019-2020 officers were installed: President Dylan McMorrow, Vice President Meaghan Sheridan, Treasurer Erin Sullivan and Co-Secretaries Hayley Algert and Mia Giaever.

Congratulations to all!

Mu Alpha Theta officers handing inductee a certificate