Math Independent Research Update — Shuangcheng Du

Since the beginning of the school year, I have divided my time into two parts as I have planned: working on Moody’s paper with math modeling and doing problem solving practices by myself. Overall I think that I am in the place where I planned to be, yet some small adjustments might be needed in the next quarter so that I will be able to complete my original goals at the end of semester one.

For the math modeling part of my independent study, I have completed two out of the three questions from last year Moody’s Math Challenge. Compared to my original plan, which is to finish the whole paper at the end of October, I am a little bit behind. I will, however, push more work in this upcoming week so that I can keep up with my plans. After completing Moody’s paper, I will send it to my mentors in China for some further suggestions. I will use the opportunity of going back to China during Christmas to further improve my paper by the end of the second quarter. Looking ahead into the next quarter, I will write an analytic paper about Westtown’s solar system before and calculate out the benefits of using clean energy in the future. This paper will later be used in Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, an ecological competition, as part of our team’s final project. I will work more with T. Judy in order to know more about the solar system and the sustainability at Westtown. I am planning to complete this paper by the end of the second quarter.

For problem solving, I have been practicing past exams from the Harvard-MIT Math Competition. While I was solving problems and analyzing problems into different categories, I found out a book named “Art of Problem Solving.” It would be awesome to see what categories the book uses to prepare for exams like AMC. I have talked with T. Susan and we are getting sample copies from the seller. I will shift my focus to reading these two books in a month to see what is going to happen. It would be really helpful if the book is highly organized and can actually help Westtown students to prepare for AMC tests.

Overall, I think that I am at a good point. I feel that I am able to keep track of myself in a long term project, and I would be able to react properly to different situations with minor adjustments. I would keep working through my plan and adjust myself if new situations come up.

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