CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: May 25, 2001
UI to co-host North American mathematics competition June 2
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- For West High School senior Min Zhang, the 26th annual
American Regions Mathematics League competition on the University of Iowa
campus Saturday, June 2 will be a chance to go head to head -- literally --
with students from all over the country.
Zhang, a West High Math Club member who has taken part in the previous two
ARML competitions, plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
this fall. But while winning is certainly on his mind, Zhang is just as excited
about meeting other students who love mathematics as much as he does.
"It's really a unique experience," says Zhang. "It's unlike
any other math competition I've been to since teams from all over the country
are coming. The thrill of the competition is knowing you're up against the
best math students in the nation."
The ARML competition is held simultaneously at three college campuses, all
of which are connected via satellite during the event. In addition to the
UI campus, Penn State and San Jose State universities are hosting the competition.
The UI portion of the competition will take place at Hancher Auditorium
and will bring to the campus 25 teams made up of 429 students and 65 coaches
who will represent the following states: Iowa, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana,
Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri/Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas,
Wisconsin. Other states, as well as provinces in Canada, will be represented
at the other two campuses.
The Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted
Education and Talent Development has sponsored the event at the UI since 1991.
"Non-athletic competitions have received a bad rap over the past two
decades. This is unfortunate because activities such as the ARML competition
provide academically talented students with a very unique opportunity for
challenge within a social setting," said Susan Assouline, associate director
of the Belin-Blank Center. "The students who participate in ARML thrive
in this type of setting. In Iowa City, we are so fortunate to have this extremely
prestigious national competition in our backyard."
ARML teams are made up of 15 high school students who challenge one another
in abstract problem solving. Each team also brings two alternates, who sometimes
form additional teams. The math involved is at or beyond the college calculus
The competition involves four rounds. In the Team Round, members work together
to attempt to correctly answer 10 questions in 20 minutes. Points are given
for each correct answer. The Power Question Round requires teams to work a
multi-part problem that focuses on some mathematical idea. Teams have one
hour to work the examples and provide proofs.
In the Individual Round, participants have 10 minutes to individually work
on eight problems. In the Relay Round, teams break up into three-person sub-teams,
and each member is responsible for a component of a multi-part question. Each
team ends with a single answer.
As for Zhang, he says the toughest problem he faces right now is deciding
what he's going to major in at MIT.
"Probably something math related, but I'm not sure yet," he says.
The Belin-Blank Center, established in 1988, specializes in programming
and research to meet the educational needs of exceptionally talented children
and their teachers. The center conducts an extensive roster of talent searches,
precollege programs, teacher training workshops and counseling programs.