Byram Hills Inducts 56 Students Into Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society

Byram Hills High School inducted 56 students into the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, celebrating their hard work, achievements and commitment to math-related service activities including the much-loved puzzle day event.

“It is a pleasure to be here tonight to celebrate the mathematical accomplishments of each and every student standing up here,” math teacher and Mu Alpha Theta adviser Elyse Cohen said at the April 25 induction ceremony. “These students have worked hard to be in the seats they are in today.”

For membership, students need an A average in at least two levels of high school math and must perform 10 hours of community service. At least half of the hours must be devoted to Mu Alpha Theta activities like puzzle day and tutoring students at the high school and H.C. Crittenden Middle School.

At the ceremony, the honor society officers discussed the history of mathematics and shared their reflections on the Byram Hills math program.

Daniel Ndocaj, the vice president, noted that math is different than other subjects. When preparing for a math test, he’s often heard the general advice that “all you need to know is everything you’ve ever learned in math.” 

“When I look back on my math journey at Byram Hills, the moments that especially stick out are those times when a previously learned concept is applied to solve new problems, especially when we would have never thought to do so,” he said. “Math encourages not just pattern recognition, but also curiosity to understand what can be applied where, and how it all fits together.”

Noting that he plans to major in engineering in college, he said, “I feel well prepared and confident that I can thrive, not necessarily because of the math I learned, but more importantly, the skills and mindsets I developed to be an effective learner and problem solver. Through years in math at Byram Hills, I’m sure that the candidates today can say the same thing in a few years.”
Jonathan Manowitz, the co-secretary, said what stood out for him was how “inclusive and supportive” he found the Byram Hills math community to be.

“Even though we are assessed individually, the Byram Hills math experience is still defined by extraordinary collaboration and mutual support,” he said. “I've found that students work to succeed together alongside their peers rather than against their peers. This sense of community makes our math classes much more than just lessons. They’re collaborative experiences in which we are all encouraged to explore, ask questions and support each other. It’s this environment that has truly defined my experience with math at Byram Hills.”

Joseph Palackal, co-secretary, said while his math knowledge had expanded exponentially at Byram Hills, “in all honesty, my greatest takeaway from my four years here was not the math itself, it was the other skills that came with it.”

“As the concepts became increasingly challenging, and classes started to move at a quicker pace, the most effective way for me to learn was in collaboration with friends and classmates,” he said. 

Each inductee was recognized and received a blue and gold Mu Alpha Theta tassel.

The new members are: Sage Auster, Beatrice Bachmann, Spencer Berkowitz, Zachary Berman, Daphne Bernstein, Anika Bobra, Laila Byles, Sophie Cai, Sienna Cavada, Max Charney, Lauren Chase, Sloane Dany, Noah Drazner, Ari Dreilinger, Kimberly Eagle, Keira Eckhardt, Dahlia Flores, Alexandros Gaillas, Alexandra Gann, Jillian Gendal, Alexa Goldberg, Joshua Goldman, Ariana Reese Guido, Zoe Harris, Miguel Heredia, Anna Higgins, Mason Jacob, Chase Keller, Tyler Kravitz, Sophia Kulik, Inaara Lalani, Sebastian Lashmet, Lincoln Lentini, Alexander Lewis, Selina Li, Ethan Lipton, Molly Malter, Claire Mauney, Evan McCauley, Kayleigh McLaughlin, Maya Molloy, Maxwell Moy, Eve Nepo, Angelina Nie, Mykola Nychka, Amanda Olego, Maeve Padley, Addison Rappaport, Harli Rappaport, Abigael Rondeau, Ella Saltstein, Ava Schoenhaut, Avni Sundaram, Jordan Tolchin, Allison Tsay and Logan Verma.

Mu Alpha Theta, founded in 1957, is the national high school and two-year college mathematics honor society. The Byram Hills chapter is among about 1,800 across the United States and abroad.

CLICK HERE to view the full ceremony.

Mu Alpha