CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 31, 2000
UI students represent U.S. in international math competition
IOWA CITY, Iowa --
Four University of Iowa students represented the United States at this summer's
7th International Mathematics Competition for University Students
held at University College, London July 26-31.
The UI students are:
Eric Erthum, a senior from Holy Cross;
Luke Gutzwiller, a senior from Council Bluffs;
Jennifer McFate, a junior from Davenport; and
Joshua Tokle, a senior from Hudson.
The competition included 117 students from more than
a dozen European countries, as well as teams from Iran, Columbia and the University
of Iowa. The purpose of the competition is to stimulate interest in mathematics,
according to UI mathematics professor and chair Paul Muhly, who noted that
the top UI scorer, Luke Gutzwiller, placed 100th and earned honorable
mention. He adds that the Iowa team did well in its inaugural appearance at
a competition that featured numerous gold medal winners from past international
"The point to keep in mind is that most of the participants
are veteran competition wonks. Many were multiple gold medal winners in the
International Mathematics Olympiad -- THE international mathematics competition
for high school students. Our students had essentially no prior experience
with competitions," Muhly says. "I likened them (UI students) to the Jamaican
Bobsled Team in the Winter Olympics. Despite their showing, the students are
excited about working hard to improve their skills, and they aspire to return
next year to perform better. We certainly will send them, if funding can be
found." Next year, the competition will be held in Prague.
The competition, consisting of two five-hour sessions
focusing on six problems each, had an Iowa flavor, since the competition organizer
and president is Davenport native John Jayne, professor of mathematics at
University College and a friend of Muhly's.
The trip had benefits for the students beyond mathematics.
Muhly says that they met like-minded young people from far away lands and
made new friends. They also have fond memories of touring museums, concerts
and plays, and walking through London's parks, gardens and historical sights.