Difference Maker: David Liang

Senior David Liang. NIVEDHA MEYYAPPAN / PHOTO

Senior David Liang. NIVEDHA MEYYAPPAN / PHOTO

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During the spring of 2012, David Liang, math club president and senior, created a math competition that is now used by over 10 schools in Massachusetts and Indiana.

“It is a competition for middle schoolers, designed to help them get exposed to the concepts that are present in competition math,” Liang said. He got the inspiration to start the DPY math contest after volunteering for MathCounts at Sycamore Middle School. DPY is named after the people who started the competition, including David Liang, Patrick Tan and Yushi Homma. The goal for the competition is to motivate middle school students to take their math career to the next level.

CUTTING NO CORNERS: Senior David Liang demonstrates a math problem on the board. Just over a year ago, Liang helped create the DPY math contest, which has spread into over 10 schools. MIKAELA GEORGE / PHOTO
CUTTING NO CORNERS:
Senior David Liang demonstrates a math problem on the board. Just over a year ago, Liang helped create the DPY math contest, which has spread into over 10 schools. MIKAELA GEORGE / PHOTO

“We were volunteering at Sycamore and we had to write a test. I found that writing problems was actually pretty fun and so we decided to do our own competition and then went from there,” Liang said. Liang participated in a number of math competitions himself, including the American Math Competition, the American Invitational Math Examination and the USA Math Olympiad. The DPY contest is modeled off of this type of competition math in order to train middle school students for high school classes and competitions.

“Hopefully DPY makes (middle school students) better, improves their skills and also inspires other people who may not be as good at math to try out for competitions,” Liang said. The DPY contest is run online. The tests are distributed online and participants submit their answers to the DPY website.

“We write solutions for the contest that walks the kids through the steps of the thought process and the motivation behind doing the step. We try to show them the solution didn’t come out of thin air, that there are reasons and clues that the problem gives you to take a certain approach to a problem,” Liang said.

 

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