Niles West’s math team will be competing at North Park College in the annual regional math competition on Saturday, Feb. 24. The competition will host eight schools from Illinois, and it will be focusing on several branches of math, including algebra 1 and 2, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus. Some events will cover topics that go beyond the basic understanding of math.
Head coach Bob Nortillo and assistant coach Matthew Fahrenbacher, who are both math teachers, have been preparing their team for about two months now to reach their goal of qualifying the entire team of about 25 people, ranging from freshmen to seniors. Last year, the team succeeded in qualifying 16 students.
According to captain and senior Michael Nissan, there will be 10 events to compete in at the competition.
“The teams that we’re looking out for most are probably New Trier and Walter Payton,” says Farenbacher.
Although it will be a tough competition, our team has a secret weapon. Fahrenbacher says that the individual that he has the highest expectations for is junior Patrick Liscio.
“He’s an amazing math student,” says Fahrenbacher, “He’s very impressive, and what we call a ‘once in a decade’ math student.”
Liscio and Nissan were 6th in state as a freshman and sophomore.
Liscio has been a participant of the Niles West Math Team for three years now, and he was also on the math team while he was still a student at Lincoln Junior High. He is currently enrolled in AP Computer Science and Math Modeling and Research, a new math research class in the STEM Lab. Next year, he hopes to continue in Math Modeling, as well as AP Statistics and Video Game Programming.
The State Competition will be held at the University of Illinois on Friday, May 4th.