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Nobody’s perfect—unless you’re talking about the Milton Academy math team.

Milton’s math competitors have maintained a perfect score through months of competing at the New England Math League (NEML) this academic year. Currently, the school sits atop the NEML rankings, which includes both private and public schools. Math contests give students opportunities outside of the classroom to flex their analytical muscles while proudly representing Milton.

“We have a lot of good mathematicians on our team this year,” said Devan Agrawal ’25. “One thing that’s nice about the NEML is that you don’t have to learn a lot of new concepts. You have to practice critical thinking and creative problem solving, and I think Milton Academy students in general already shine with that.”

Interest in math competitions has increased this year, according to Math Department faculty member Phil Robson, who advises the team. This has worked in Milton’s favor. Because the NEML takes the top five scores from each team to compile the school’s final score, there is literal strength in numbers, Mr. Robson said..

The contests inspire both collaboration and friendly competition among students. “It’s exciting to be able to contribute to the school in this way,” said Celina Wang ’27. “It’s good practice and it’s always entertaining to see what kinds of problems will come up. It’s taught me that even when something is challenging, I can still work through it.”

Milton has both a math team and a math club and the two overlap: Meetings for math club happen weekly, and club members use the time to prepare for competitions—anyone can join the team in competitions if they’d like—discuss fun and interesting problems, play math games, or pop in for extra help understanding a concept. It’s a good opportunity to meet like-minded people and interact with peers in other grades, Devan and Celina said. 

Both students said they’re excited and proud to see the development of Milton’s new Farokhzad Math Center, which is under construction in the former library space. “It’s awesome for Milton,” said Devan. “Math is an important subject and it’s very good that we’re continuing to expand our already strong program.” 

Just on the horizon is the prestigious American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) which begins in early February. AIME invites  only a small percentage of the top scorers at each level in qualifying American Mathematics Competition (AMC) rounds to participate. Last year, Celina qualified for AIME as an eighth grader while a first year math team member, something Mr. Robson said is a record in his teaching career. She’ll be representing Milton at AIME again this year, along with Hugh Kramer ’27, Lucas Chan ’26, and Kitty Lai ’26. Preparing for the contests “has taught me a lot about how to study and how to work well under pressure,” said Celina.