Emily Barker, Jason Li, Tara Harley and Jonathan Ferguson took on the mathematical might of East Anglia at this year’s Regional senior team maths challenge hosted by Northgate this week. In over two hours of intensive and very draining competition (all ferociously against the clock, and with complex and intricate systems of linked questions to ensure that the teams really did have to work as teams), our quartet placed consistently in the top six of the 19 teams each round and finished a very creditable sixth overall behind winners RGS Colchester (who – to be fair to them – scored a perfect total, an almost unheard of achievement). Our team achieved well over 80% and but for some errors caused by the constant pressure might have even sneaked into the medal positions; and they certainly ate more of the refreshments on offer than most of the opposition. As we drove back, it occurred to me that we came in the top 1/3 in each of three sections – which, probabilistically would only happen 1/27 of the time by chance… and with 18 teams that means we were really first. But we let RGS claim the honours.
I never was very good at maths.