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04-29-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Survey: Opinions on Math Contests

Just a project where I need to get the opinions of different people of their views on math projects. If possible, I'd like people that know a bit about math contests (Cayley, PIMS, etc) to give some short paragraph type responses.

Stuff to include:

-Pros/Cons of Math Contests
-Benefits
-If people should or should not enter math contests
-etc

Thanks in advance!
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04-29-2010   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think there's really a "should or should not" thing going on. Math contests are like sports competitions, music showcase, or w/e. You do them because you enjoy it. I mean, they're optional for a reason. In my school we have a math club where people can hang out while preparing for contests/competitions. People join because they like math problem solving questions. In my opinion if a person is doing math contests to make their profile look good or whatever, they're trying too hard.
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05-01-2010   #3 (permalink)
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People taking part in such contests would take enjoyment from it, or wouldn't waste their time and effort. Maths is a talent for some, and some simply take enjoyment from being able to solve stuff, so using it in competitions is beneficial for them in terms of enjoyment and increasing knowledge. That in itself is a positive. As for negatives; I think this can only come from someone opposing to math contests, which I personally don't. I believe it comes down to the fact that some people believe entering contests is only a chance to boast about certain skills, but the same could be said for spelling contests, sports matches and anything where someone showcases skills that not everyone necessarily has.
As for whether people should or should not enter math competitions, it depends entirely on the individual and whether or not they want to take part, it shouldn't concern anyone else. If people oppose to it, they don't need to be a part of it at all.
 

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