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  • Chloe Ganjian

North Shore Students Dominate in the Al Kalfus Long Island Math Fair

When most eighth-grade students enter the process of selecting a high school to attend, a substantial question that they consider is whether the school offers classes and clubs that align with their interests. When considering North Shore, the answer to that question is always a yes. Unlike many other schools, North Shore proudly houses an extensive range of extracurricular activities that accommodate each student's various interests and passions.

Students attracted to the law and politics can participate in Mock Trial, Model Congress and the Debate Team, to name a few. Students with inquiring, creative and engineer-focused minds can enroll in Mr. Weinberg's engineering classes, the robotics class and the 3D printing club. Our future scientists have the opportunity to participate in the four-year-long Science Research program, enroll in the various AP Science courses and participate in the Science Society club. North Shore's Torah scholars can further satisfy their thirst for Judaic knowledge by participating in the Beit Midrash Program, as well as joining Rabbi Lehrer in learning multiple tractates in the Talmud, which is also known as the "Siyum Scholars Program."

Another fascinating field that North Shore students can excel in is Math. In addition to the math courses that students are required to take each year, there are a handful of math-related clubs that students can join and explore. One of these would be "Math Research," run by Mrs. Nora Greene. As part of "Math Research," students select captivating mathematical processes, theories or phenomena to research. Students become masters in their topic of choice and write papers of at least 10-pages to demonstrate their knowledge. These papers, along with an 8-minute video presentation about the topic, can be submitted to the Al Kalfus Long Island Math Fair.

This year, each of the three North Shore students who entered the competition was awarded and recognized by the Math Fair. Freshman Ilana Greenberg earned a Gold Medal for her research on eigenvectors and their application in facial recognition. I earned a Silver Medal for researching Markov Chains and their role in reducing yhe spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. Junior Holden Applebaum earned a Gold Medal for his complex paper titled, "From Sinusoids to Spotify: Fourier Transform at the Cutting Edge." Holden says, "Participating in Math Fair was one of the highlights of my year. I researched Fourier Transform, a mathematical tool that deconstructs any waveform (a function or a signal) into individual sinusoids (sine and cosine waves). Fourier Transform is the driving force behind the digital signal processing world. It’s the way MRI machines work and believe it or not, Spotify. Math Fair is a great way to explore just about any topic in mathematics and to learn why math is the magic behind so much of what we enjoy in our everyday lives.”

Math Research is a mentally stimulating club that encourages students to broaden their skills beyond a typical classroom curriculum. I highly encourage all students to participate in the club next year. Even if you do not consider yourself to be a "math person," there is much to be learned and gained from the program.

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