CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
UI math department hosts high school math competition Saturday, March
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa department of mathematics will
host its first ever UI Mathematics Competition for about 130 eastern Iowa
high school students on Saturday, March 1, in Lecture Room 1 of Van Allen
The day's activities will begin with an 8 a.m. registration session, followed
by a welcome at 8:40 a.m. and formal competition between 9 a.m. and 12:20
p.m. But perhaps the most unusual part of the competition will be the "math
relay race" to be held for about 20 minutes beginning at 11:50 a.m. In
this event, teams of students will compete like runners in a 4-by-100-meter
track relay, with team members each completing one portion of a problem, then
handing off their answers to fellow teammates who will try to complete the
next "lap" of the race. According to Paul Muhly, UI mathematics
professor, the competition is all about stimulating interest in mathematics.
"The goal of such competitions -- and the preparation for them -- is
to make mathematics fun so that the students will want to learn more of it.
Mathematics opens opportunities for the students; it is enabling. Math competitions
also develop important skills in students in much the same way as debate tournaments
develop important communication skills," Muhly says.
Following the competition relay race, participants will adjourn for lunch,
then reassemble at 2 p.m. for an awards ceremony, with plaques and certificates
for the winners.
The UI Mathematics Competition is sponsored by the department of mathematics,
and Students Undertaking Mathematical Sciences (SUMS), the UI student math
club. In addition to Muhly, activity planners include Terry Sargent, UI junior
math student and SUMS chair, UI senior math student Ben Galluzzo, and Iowa
City West High School mathematics instructors Linda Muhly, Mike Marcketti
and Brad Glass.