Summit High student wins state math competition for second year
Jun 01,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

For the second consecutive year, a Summit High School sophomore has earned top honors at a state math competition. Tadd Phillips beat out students from nearly 80 Oregon public and private schools to take the top award in the precalculus division of the Oregon Invitational Mathematics Tournament (OIMT) this month at Oregon State University.

Tadd Phillips - submitted photo 
Math students from throughout the state are selected by their schools to compete in regional tournaments. Those who place first or second in their level—geometry, algebra II, precalculus or calculus—go on to the OIMT.

“Tadd’s accomplishment as a state champion in math is as important as any state championship earned by individuals or teams at the school,” said Lynn Baker, principal of Summit High School.

At the state tournament, students are given 90 minutes to complete the exam. Questions may be open-ended, meaning there is not a single correct path to an answer. Judges score the answers based on if the mathematics used are correct and appropriate to the problem; how the motivation and rationale for a particular answer is communicated; and the analysis of the solution for both its strengths and limitations.

Ten competitors are selected from each of the four levels to represent the top math students in the state. Tadd was the only student from Bend-La Pine Schools to earn top honors both this and last years. In 2006, Tadd competed in algebra II.

“Tadd is an exceptionally gifted math student,” said Peggy Miller, Tadd's math teacher at Summit High School. “We are proud of his accomplishments and our ability to offer year-long classes that benefit all of our students.”