your_inquisitor (your_inquisitor) wrote in moppers,


Hey, it's Matt Lee of MOP 1997. It's great to find this group; in fact, this is the reason I started a livejournal today. 7.5 years later, I still count MOP among my most meaningful experiences. I wish I could have gone more, but no one invited me to take the AHSME until 11th grade, and maybe I had too much fun and didn't study enough when I was at MOP because I didn't even qualify for the USAMO the following year. I've picked up a bachelor's degree in math from Harvard, will be picking up a master's degree in computer science from UW-Madison, and am trying to figure out what I want to do. abangaku, easwaran, clydej69 - I hope this post finds you well, and I'm looking forward to getting to know the rest of you.
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The community lives! People haven't posted here in a while, which is a shame.

I'm Nathan Pflueger; I went to MOP 2003, and still entertain a hope of returning this year (I'm a senior, so it's going to be hard). I definitely count MOP as one of the most, maybe even the most, meaningful times of my life (I cannot tell you how devastated I was not to make it back last year). I hope the college experience is at least a shadow of that experience, with regard to the atmosphere and type of people (is it?). Regarding that, I am probably going to go to Stanford next year, but I'm still waiting to hear from Harvard, Caltech, and MIT, and may chance my mind. I intend to follow math to a PhD, and decide where to go from there.

In any case, it is nice to be introduced to you (I guess I can't really say "meet" because I've never seen you, but... oh well), and I hope this community comes back to life...
I think the college experience is largely what you make of it, and if it turns out well then MOP can seem like a shadow of college.

MOP has a special atmosphere because it is a small group of people selected based on their ability to perform well on a particular sequence of math tests and on their desire to spend four weeks (in my time) studying math and hanging out with other qualifying people. The colleges you listed are likely to have some of those people but many others as well, resulting in a more varied atmosphere. This has some downsides because some games and conversation topics that might pop up spontaneously at MOP may be difficult to evoke in college. On the other hand, I thought the greater diversity of college was good, and none of my three best friends from college were pure math majors, though one was an applied math major and one was a biochem major who read abstract algebra for fun. Still, the top colleges are not quite a representative cross-section of the human race because people are generally selected for accomplishments that are considered academic or "extracurricular," whatever that happens to mean to the admissions committee, and for the perceived potential of succeeding in an academic environment.

haha i realize this was posted 5 years ago, but since I just saw it for the first time ever, Hi!