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October 2013

The Ninth Rockdale Math Competition


Even though schools were restricted to bringing only team per level, we had our biggest tournament yet!

We had a total of 87 six-person teams registered this year, which required some creative use of rooms assignments and proctors. Luckily, we had some breathing room as only 419 of the planned 522 participants showed up. Of course, we must make plans for all 522, just in case. This meant that some schools were turned away due to space.

As with the previous few years, we offered an ARML-style competition, with a Power, Team, Relay, and Individual rounds. Each school was invited to bring a six-student teams in each of middle school, junior varsity, or varsity.

In the past, attempted (as best we could) to order the 10 individual round problems in order of difficulty. However, we can never get that exactly right. Since that order of difficulty is critical to how the individual awards are determined, it is important to get it right. You see, we employ a system which assigns a weight of 10^n to problem number n. This eliminates ties unless two students get the exact same problems correct. (Two students who get 8 problems correct are not tied unless it is the same 8 problems for each student.) But since the order of difficulty is hard to pin down, we changed systems this year. This year, we computed the percentage of students who missed that problem and used the equivalent decimal as the weight. Therefore, it no longer matters if the most difficult problem is number 10 (or 9 or 8, for that matter). This seems to be a more fair weighting. This table shows the percentage of participants who got each problem incorrect, and thus, these were the weights assigned to each problem.

The competition papers will be included in a future edition of the “Problem Book”.


Trophies were awarded to the top 3 or top 4 teams in each of middle school, junior varsity, and varsity per classification, and the top 12 middle school individuals, the top 12 JV individuals, and the top 12 varsity individuals were each recognized with a trophy. Additionally, the overall first place team winners won a Rockdale Math Competition T-shirt.

Listed here are all team rankings per level and the top individual winners in each category.