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Release: June 11, 1999

National math competition held at University of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa —Two Iowa teams competed along with 103 other teams competed in the 24th American Regions Mathematics League competition that occurred on the campus of the University of Iowa and two other universities as well as two other sites on June 5.

Of the teams representing Iowa, team A ranked 13th in Division B in the overall scoring and team B ranked 51st in the same division. The overall winner of the competition was the San Francisco Bay A team. Teams are placed in divisions based on their overall performances, with Division A consisting of the top teams.

ARML is a national mathematics competition in which teams of 15 high school students from all parts of the United States and Canada challenge one another in abstract problem-solving. The math involved is at or beyond the college calculus level.

The Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development has sponsored the event at the UI since 1991. In addition to the UI campus, Penn State and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas campuses simultaneously held the competition this year.

Susan Assouline, Ph.D., associate director of the Belin-Blank Center, said the ARML is a good opportunity for high school students.

"A lot of people think competition is bad," said Assouline. "However, this is very positive. It’s a thing where kids can compete individually in mathematics but then also come together and work as a team. Kids love it."

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. Lynbrook High School of California received the Harry Ruderman award for top score in this contest.

In the Individual Round, participants have 10 minutes to individually work on eight problems. The four top individual scorers were Gabriel Carroll of the San Francisco Bay A team, Reid Barton of the Massachusetts A team, Lawrence Detler of the New York City A team, and Austin Shapiro of the San Francisco Bay A team. All four scored a perfect eight in this contest.

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.

"It’s neat to see about 350 kids heading towards the Field House on a Saturday morning for a competition," said Assouline. "Once you see what kids can do and you put them into things like this, they rise to the challenge."

A complete list of the team results can be found at the ARML Web page at