Deep Divers is an advanced program that targets students who have already learned many in-depth contest math topics and are willing to work hard to achieve success in MathCounts, AMC-8, AMC-10 competitions and beyond. It is designed to identify and fill the gaps in students’ knowledge and understanding of advanced contest math topics.
Our cornerstone program, To Infinity and Beyond, lays a critical foundation block in contest math, teaching students how to analyze and explore difficult math problems. However, to succeed in advanced math competitions, students need extensive knowledge of algebra, geometry, number theory, combinatorics and probability, way beyond that offered at school. Mr. Math created a Study Resources for Contest Math document, which lists various resources (books and programs) that students can use to acquire that knowledge and outlines a path on the road to success in MathCounts, AMC-8, and AMC-10 contests.
Many of our students follow this path, while simultaneously working through the higher levels of our cornerstone program. However, after completing various books and programs students often do not fully comprehend the material. What is even worse, students may not know which parts they did not fully understand. As a result, one of the main challenges for even the top students is that they theoretically have the knowledge necessary to solve the problems, but still cannot solve them! Our Deep Divers program addresses this gap.
The Deep Divers program consists of several units, covering a group of interrelated topics (such as Algebra of Quadratics or Geometry of Circles). Each class is run by a teacher with the help of a TA and has 4 students who work individually or in pairs. In the sessions and through homework we identify and fill the gaps in the students’ understanding of the material and make sure they are able to apply their knowledge to solve more difficult problems. At the end of each unit, we provide a report summarizing each student’s observed knowledge of the unit topic and our recommendations for further study.
To be invited to the Deep Divers program, students must participate in the tryouts and demonstrate reasonable proficiency in solving advanced middle school contest math problems and basic knowledge of the topics in the program curriculum. It is expected that the students have already studied the topics from the program curriculum. Most of the students invited to the program have previously completed our cornerstone To Infinity and Beyond program at least through Level 4 or tested out of it via the tryouts.