Congratulations to Victoria Sun for placing first on the University of Waterloo’s Fermat contest. As a result, she was one of only 72 students in all of Canada who attended the Lloyd Auckland Math Conference from May 26th-June 1st. It was a week of enrichment through a series of collaborative problem-solving sessions, seminars, lectures and mind-bending games! Here’s what Victoria has to say about the experience:
“I feel so fortunate that Crestwood provided me the opportunity to attend the Lloyd Auckland workshop this year. It was a great week of discussion, learning, teaching and, of course, problem-solving!
At first, I was nervous. I was the only girl on my team and unsure if I would get along with everyone. However, my fears disappeared as I quickly made many new friends. We talked about everything from what it’s like to live in Vancouver to overcoming the nerves of performing piano live. And we also connected through our common love for learning and challenging ourselves.
Throughout the week, my team and I worked together to learn and apply many new and complex math theorems, such as second order linear recurrences and rational points on algebraic curves. Initially, I also found the problem sets very challenging–there were words and concepts I had never seen before! However, I am fortunate to have many teachers, both past and present (including Ms. Postma from problem-solving club!), who taught me that one can never arrive at the right solution without first simply trying. The hardest problem I solved during my week at the conference required starting over more than TEN times! That persistence though, eventually brought me to the correct solution and a greater sense of confidence.
My team and I also very quickly realized that we had strengths in many different areas. Some of us were great with geometry and others were experts with proofs. Problems often required knowledge of several math concepts at once. Because we had experts in many different areas of math, there was always someone who could take the lead in solving that problem. It was fascinating to see firsthand how our differences actually made us a much stronger team.
The Lloyd Auckland math conference was a truly inspiring experience and I hope to have the opportunity to attend many more math conferences in the future!”