CCA Previews ’21: Mathematics Club

By Le Viet Hung (21S06E), Secretary cum Treasurer, Wang Yunrui (21S06E), Vice-Chairperson and Wang Yuxuan (21S02A), Chairperson

Are you interested in mind-blowing ideas? Are you thrilled by the rush of satisfaction that comes when you finally solve an impossible problem? Do you yearn for a community that shares a common interest with you in Mathematics? Then Math Club would be the place for you!

But first, we need to know that you are worthy! If you want to get into Math Club, you must first pass this (unofficial) selection test:

Think of five ways to make 1000 using eight 8s.

If you got it, then congratulations, you’re definitely eligible for Math Club. Else fret not, just read through to the end, and watch the probability of you joining Math Club slowly approaching 1. (Ahem.)

So, what is this Math Club hype all about?

In a nutshell, we spend 2 hours every week doing exclusively the enjoyable stuff in Mathematics, getting wowed by paradoxes, puzzles, brain teasers, advanced theorems, …  (everything you can name, we’ve got it) And the best part? As a student-run CCA, we have AUTONOMY on what we put into our sessions. YOU get to decide what you want to explore!!

Fig 1. Some cool probability stuff

Some of the topics we covered this year include: π, probability, as well as SMO tips and tricks. We scratched our heads at cryptic messages in our Cryptography session back in February, scrambled to solve puzzles in our unique puzzle-themed mini amazing race, and we even got to come up with complex tactics in a Risk-inspired war game!

Fig 2. War game: Blue narrowly won by 13-11

We have an array of interesting activities lined up for next year too! They include experimenting with cool strategy games, challenging yourself in mini-tournaments within the CCA and exploring a wide range of really fascinating Math Topics that you just wished you knew more about!

Hmm sounds nerdy…

Well yes, but we’re fun too! We are a small, niche, but tight-knit community of like-minded peers with the same unconditional (exponentially-decaying) love for Math. We have our own inside jokes, IMO-level geniuses, people who just love penguins and members who have no idea why they’re here. If you join Math Club, we assure you that you will meet a set of really “interesting” people, for lack of a better word.

That’s it? No cool events or anything?

Well, it is really unfortunate that this year our plans were disrupted by COVID-19. 

However, in previous years, we did have a range of events that took place throughout the year! This included holiday Math Club camps (combined with RI Y1-4 and RGS), learning journeys to NUS, as well as inter-CCA collaboration activities. Members also took part in a range of competitions throughout the year such as the American Mathematics Competition, Shanghai TI Cup, and SMO.

Hopefully we will get to hold more of these activities next year, as we move to Phase 3!

But I have no time for more maths…

Being the “nerds” that we are, we don’t just join Math Club for math. We nerds at Math Club understand the commitments that you have on your hands. Of course, we know how to differentiate our math passion with our other commitments. That’s why we only have one session per week, typically on Tuesdays from 4.30pm to 6.30pm or Fridays 4.15pm to 5.45pm for our virtual sessions. And guess what, there is no HOMEWORK! You can free up so much time for your other work, be it PW, GP, or (hopefully) more Maths.

If you have read till this point, then Math Club is definitely the club for you. Or maybe you’re just looking for the solution. Well here it is:

There’s actually more than five ways: 

  1. 888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8  
  2. (8(8(8+8)-(8+8)/8))-8  
  3. 8888/8.888  
  4. (888-8) + 8 × (8+8) – 8  
  5. ((8×(8+8))-((8+8+8)/8)) x 8  
  6. ((8×(8+8))-((88/8)-8)) x 8  
  7. (8888-888)/8  
  8. 8x(8×8+8×8) – (8+8+8)

All of you have passed the test! YAY!!

Yes, there is actually no prerequisite to joining Math Club. All you need is a strong passion and love for Mathematics!

That’s all we have to share, and we hope to see you at our trial session!  (The exact date will be released later.)

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