Bea Rodriguez on Being Raised as a Math Whiz and Her Competition Rituals

Bea Rodriguez on Being Raised as a Math Whiz and Her Competition Rituals

Southville: What makes Mathematics special to you

Bea: Math takes a special place in my heart because of all the math training I have undergone and all the math competitions I have joined. 

Southville: When did you discover your passion for Math?

Bea: I only discovered my passion for math this grade 9 when I joined different math competitions with Southville. Even though I have been joining MTAP in my old school since grade 4, it was only in Southville that I was really pushed to excel in math and that really sparked my passion and willingness to learn math.

Southville: What significant Mathematics training and preparation did you acquire in Southville?

Bea: I received a lot of math training and preparation from being part of the ALP Math team especially from my math teachers Ms. Ehdz, Ms. Juvy, Sir Karlo, Sir Edward, and Sir RJ who really took time and effort to teach me and prepare me for these various math competitions.

Southville: What local and international Mathematics competitions have you joined?

Bea: I have joined several other mathematics competitions such as the Thailand International Math Olympiad, the National Parallel Challenge for Future Mathematicians, the International Kangaroo Math Competition, the Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad (SASMO), Math Without Borders, and MTAP Metrobank Math Challenge, which I have been joining since Grade 4. 

Southville: How did you get to the competition in Bulgaria?

Bea: The Mathematics Without Borders competition consists of three preliminary rounds (Autumn round, Winter round, and Spring round) and the Final Round. The competition requires that you get at least 2 medals (either gold, silver, or bronze) in any two of the three preliminary rounds in order to qualify for the Final Round. With God’s grace, I was able to get a silver medal in both the Winter and Spring rounds, therefore qualifying for the MWB Finals in Nessebar, Bulgaria.

Southville: What is the specification of the competition you recently joined?

Bea: For the individual and team awards, the top 20% of the finalists receive  medals (gold, silver, and bronze), depending on their rankings with their respective age group.   The three most successful students from each age group and country are included in the ranking for the Tournament Cups. The participants who hold first place in each age group receives the Mathematics without Borders Gold Cup, those who hold second place receives the Silver Cup and those who hold third place receives the Bronze Cup.

Southville: How were you raised as a Mathlete by your parents, by Southville, and perhaps by yourself as well? 

Bea: When I was around 3 to 4 years old, my parents, especially my mom, trained me to master how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide – basic arithmetic skills. By Grade 4, I started joining the MTAP Math competition in Chinese. This is where my dad started teaching me a little of the more complicated side of math. Needless to say, as the years went by, my parents really pushed me to improve my math skills and excel in the mathematical field. Then came the year I moved to Southville. Since the start of the year, the math department of Southville already conducted the test to determine who would be part of the ALP Math team. Fortunately, I made it in. As a part of the ALP team, Southville math teachers trained me and my teammates to be able to join these prestigious math competitions and overall, improve our skills in math. This training really motivated me to become a better mathematician. 

Southville: What are your pre-competition rituals?

Bea: Before any competition I join, I always do 3 things: get a good night’s sleep, last minute review of all study materials I have, and most importantly, pray to God for guidance and the grace to succeed in the competition.

Southville: How do you maintain your Mathematics competency?

Bea: I maintain my Mathematics competency through consistent practice and more importantly seeking help and advice from my teacher, parents, and the internet!

Southville: How do you deal with top contenders in all your Mathematics competitions?

Bea: In any competition, there will always be someone who is way better than I am in whatever the topic of that competition is. What I can do is to take these people as role models and learn from them. There is always room for improvement, and by learning from these people, I can continuously learn more and improve myself.

Southville: How would you apply any mathematical strategy as you face life’s unpredictability? (This can be figurative. You may answer from a mathematician’s perspective.

Bea: Constant practice of Math generally improves one’s ability to think logically, analytically, critically, creatively, and positively. These are all important to be able to excel in Math and can be very useful in daily life as well. When you do Math, you find solutions to a problem or set of problems. Doing these requires all the aforementioned thinking skills. In real life, you will also face many difficulties and challenges which also require similar thinking skills as Math to overcome these obstacles.

Southville: How do you see the future of your generation in the Mathematics field as you gain more and more experiences in each competition? 

Bea: In each competition I join, I witness hundreds, even thousands of students trying their luck and testing their abilities in mathematics, each one of them nervous, maybe, but definitely well prepared. These students really show their passion and drive to learn and excel through these competitions. I think that with so many students all over the world with that passion and drive, we can inspire more people to have that same passion and drive to learn and excel in Math. This, for me, is very important because the world needs more Mathematicians to work together and find solutions to the many problems that our society currently faces.

Southville: What do you think is your unique personality as a Mathlete?

Bea: I think that a unique personality of any mathlete is the grit to be able to take on new challenges and the perseverance to make it through difficult situations, not only in math, but in real life as well.

Southville: What do you think is the role of Mathematics in developing one’s well-being?

Bea: Mathematics is a crucial part of the development of a person because it helps broaden a person’s way of thinking and teaches people to view things from different perspectives, as well as how to be more creative in finding ways to solve problems. Math involves a wide spectrum of topics and requires a range of skills to be able to understand these topics. Constant practice of math can help hone these skills and disciplines in a person, especially since these skills cannot always be taught in other subjects, or in the classroom in general. For example, math can teach a person how to manipulate certain ideas in order to formulate a solution to something. 

Southville: If you were to choose one sub-field of Mathematics which describe you the most as a student, what would it be and why? 

Bea: I think a subfield of math that best describes me as a student is Algebra because in Algebra, certain numbers are replaced with letters, which are unknown in the equations that you have to solve for. A student’s life is filled with unknowns. The only way we can uncover these unknowns is if we look for the answers, or in math, “solve” for the answers.

Southville: If you will create your own simple formula to make people especially the youth love Math, what would it be and why? (Ex. Patience + Practice = Victory)

Bea: Passion + Perseverance = Success. I think that no one can succeed in anything if they don’t have a passion for what they do. This passion begins with just a little bit of interest that can inspire a person to love Math. Next, this passion won’t go anywhere without perseverance and hard work. The only way for something to bear fruit is through constant practice and dedication. With time, these two important ingredients will eventually cook up a batch of sweet success.

Southville: What are you most thankful for about your teammates, your coaches, and the school?

Bea: I am most thankful for all the support given to me from my amazing teammates, wonderful coaches, and of course, Southville International School and Colleges for encouraging me and cheering me on all throughout, as well as for recognizing my efforts in the subject.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.