New club explores how “Mathworks“ in real life


Aidan Harbison

Jefferson club Mathworks discusses election projections, of which mail-in ballots contributed a significant amount.

Laura Zhang, Staff Writer

Modeling the spread of COVID-19. Predicting election results and turnout projections. Uncovering the YouTube algorithm. The new Jefferson club Mathworks is discussing these topics and many others during Friday B blocks. Created by sophomores Jerry Sheng and Akshay Vellore, the club explores the real-world applications of math.

Although Jefferson is well known for its advanced mathematics courses, Sheng and Vellore wanted to show students how math can be used outside the classroom and in everyday life.

“Our goal is to teach people about how math can be used in the real world since a lot of people have the assumption that they’re never going to use math in real life,” Vellore said.

Sheng hopes their club will attract people of all math levels and also those who may have mixed feelings about the subject.

“We wanted to make Mathworks for people that enjoy math, but also for the people that don’t enjoy math, to show that math really is useful,” Sheng said.

The turnout for the first meeting was higher than the club leaders expected, with only two out of the 28 spots left unfilled.

“Honestly, we were both pretty surprised, and we were really happy that a lot of people showed up and really enjoyed it,” Vellore said.

During the meeting, they discussed the math behind the presidential election, such as the Electoral College and election projections, which many students enjoyed.

“It was interesting to learn about and see how some fairly simple math can be applied to something as important as the election,” freshman Taohan Lin said.

Sheng and Vellore are both grateful for the high level of enthusiasm Mathworks received and are excited to continue hosting and improving the club.

“A lot of people did say they enjoyed the club, but some people did have feedback on how to make it better. We hope to use that and make Mathworks more appeasing for everyone,” Vellore said.

The club is up and running now, but there was a lot of work that went into starting Mathworks, especially with the virtual format.

“Previously, you would go to the 8th period office and just talk about [the club idea] with Ms. Slonina, the activities coordinator, but now, we have to email everything,” Sheng said. “It’s certainly been a challenge, but it’s turned out pretty well so far.”

After a successful first meeting, the pair is looking forward to discussing more topics in the coming weeks.

“We’re planning on covering social media algorithms, grading curves, taxes, and the economy,” Sheng said.