Al Kalfus Math Competition 2021
The Al Kalfus Long Island Math Fair is an annual math research competition by the Nassau County Association of Mathematics Supervisors usually held in the Spring at Hofstra University. But due to the COVID pandemic, it was held over Zoom this year. Al Kalfus requires students to research a math topic of their choosing and present their original mathematical findings and conclusions to a panel of judges, followed by question and answer. It is an extraordinary achievement to participate because original math research requires time, creative thinking, and a substantial paper. According to Ms. Nora Greene, NSHAHS’s Math Research Advisor, “All students, especially our participants from North Shore, really rose to the occasion in adapting to new technologies to succeed in this year’s Fair. Participating in the Al Kalfus Long Island Math Fair affords students the opportunity to hone certain skills, namely: conducting research, expressing themselves using a variety of tools and formats, making cross-curricular connections, and applying mathematical knowledge to the real world. This year, we can add ‘adapting to our ever-changing environment’ to this list, as students learned how to quickly adapt and be flexible to meet the needs of this year’s Fair.” This year’s winners included Leanna Hakakian who won a Gold Medal for her research on Mass Point Geometry. According to Leanna, “The Al Kalfus competition was awesome. Mass point geometry is a problem-solving procedure in the field of algebra, geometry, and physics that simplifies the calculations of values in triangles. It utilizes a local coordinate system to identify points by ratios and how they divide into line segments. This was a great competition and our advisor, Mrs. Greene was extremely helpful and positive along the way! I highly recommend participating in the Al Kalfus math fair.” For her Gold Medal on Graph Theory with COVID-19 Applications, Chloe Ganjian said she “used about 30 sources to conduct this research and write about it. I was specifically interested in the ‘six degrees of separation’ concept, which implies that you can get from one random person to another random person just by going through six or less people that are ‘friends of a friend.’ ” Shoshana Horn received a Bronze Medal for her research on Dark Energy and its relationship to Einstein’s theory of relativity, the cosmological constant, and quintessence in which mathematical modifications were proposed to further explore theoretical equations.