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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 27, 2009

UI holds annual high school Mathematics Tournament March 7
The University of Iowa will hold the 13th annual UI Mathematics Tournament for about 100-150 eastern Iowa high school students on Saturday, March 7, in Van Allen Hall, with most of the events scheduled for Lecture Room 1.

The competition will begin at 9 a.m. and will consist of four types of mathematics events, including individual tests, team tests, a second individual test called a "target round," and, finally, a "math relay race" to be held for about 30 minutes beginning at 11:50 a.m. In the relay, teams of students compete as though running a relay race, with team members each completing one portion of a problem before handing it off to a teammate who completes the next "leg" of the race.

The winners of the events will be announced at a 2:30 p.m. awards ceremony, at which time Jonathan Carlson, professor of law and international studies and senior associate to UI President Sally Mason, will address the group.

The competition is sponsored by the UI departments of computer science, mathematics, curriculum and instruction, and statistics and actuarial science, and by the student organization Students Undertaking Mathematical Sciences (SUMS).

The UI College of Engineering and the Office of the Provost provide supplementary support. Professor Gary Fethke, former business dean and former UI interim president; Professor Emerita Carol Fethke, of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business; and the late Mrs. Catharine Wegner, a 1934 UI alumna who majored in mathematics and became a long-time mathematics teacher, personally have helped to underwrite the event over the years, as has Ms. Katherine L. Muhly. Computer personnel from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences helped program the software used to score and tally the events.

Participants in the UI contest and other designated competitions who score 50 percent or better in any event will be invited to attend the state meet. The success of the annual UI competition contributed to the creation of the Iowa Math League, an organization of Iowa high schools, and the statewide math competition, according to UI Mathematics Professor Paul Muhly. The goal is to stimulate high school students' interest in mathematics by having the competition play the same role relative to quantitative disciplines that debate plays in developing communication skills, Muhly says.

UI Mathematics Tournament planners include professors Oguz Durumeric, Paul Muhly and Walter Seaman. Donna Hillis provided administrative support.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation in order to participate should contact the department at or by calling 319-335-0781.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,