Pacific’s Math Department & Math Club Host Annual Competition

Guest post by Juan Maciel, COP ’16 

Mathletes from San Joaquin County gathered on Saturday April 11th at the University of the Pacific to test their knowledge with an exciting day of competitive math activities for the 6th Annual Avinash Raina Math Competition. Every spring, the University of the Pacific’s Math Department and Math Club hosts an annual High School Math Competition for students willing to test their knowledge and challenge their skills.

The High School Math Competition is made possible through the donation of Stockton’s Raina family. The Raina family’s donation is in memory of their son, Avinash Raina, who had exceptional math skills as a Stagg High School student. Avinash Raina is remembered as a gifted student; he not only excelled at math, but also had a passion for speech and journalism.

Avinash Raina’s legacy of academic excellence and passion for mathematics is continued every year with the Math Competition to ensure his knowledge and love of academics is forever celebrated. This year, students from Benjamin Holt Preparatory Academy, Cesar Chavez High School, Edison High School, Health Careers Academy, Lincoln High School, Mountain House High School, Stockton Early College Academy, and Tracy High School celebrated Raina’s legacy.

Dr. Vic Castillo also celebrated Avinash Raina’s legacy as the competition’s keynote speaker. Dr. Castillo is a Research Scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His presentation, “Prediction, Understanding, & Communication with Simulation,” discussed the Laboratory’s current research projects. Current projects include building robots that use artificial intelligence to navigate rooms, building the world’s next fastest supercomputer, using 3-D printing to manufacture more efficient mechanical parts, and modeling heat convection in a home. The presentation allowed students to see how math is applied to solve real world problems at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The Math Competition’s final ranking resulted in overall Team Awards for Lincoln High School (1st), Tracy High School (2nd), and Ben Holt College Prep Academy (3rd). Students who placed in individual categories are as follows- Geometry: Sher Gill, Benjamin Holt College Prep Academy (1ST), Kailash Maddula, Lincoln High School (2nd), James Molamphy, Stockton Early Academy (3rd); Algebra II: Minali Prasad (1st), Lincoln High School, Jason John (2nd), Mountain House High School, Andy Lok (3rd) Stockton Early College Academy; Pre-Calculus: Harry Dong, Tracy High School (1st), Billy Shaddix, Tracy High School (2nd), Joanne Yi, Lincoln High School (3rd); Calculus: Kevin Huang, Lincoln High School (1st), Kenton Shimozaki, Lincoln High School (2nd),  Ryan Twisselmann, Tracy High School (3rd).

The success of all participants is not possible without the involvement of coaches from the student’s prospective high schools. Coaches ensure students are well prepared for the challenging events throughout the competition.

For information on supporting the High School Math Competition, or for information on entering a team into the competition, please contact Dr. John Mayberry, To learn more about Pacific’s mathematics program, visit the Department of Mathematics website.

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