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Release: March 3, 1999

UI holds third annual high school math competition March 6

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa will hold the third annual UI Mathematics Competition for about 220 Eastern Iowa high school students Saturday, March 6 in Van Allen Hall with most events scheduled for Lecture Room 1.

The competition -- sponsored by the UI departments of computer science, mathematics, mathematics education, and statistics and actuarial science, as well as Students Undertaking Mathematical Sciences (SUMS), the UI student math club -- will begin with an 8 a.m. registration session, followed by a welcome. Formal competition will take the form of four types of mathematics events, including individual tests, team tests, a second individual test, 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 will 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 will try to complete the next "leg" of the race. The objective of the competition, according to UI mathematics associate professor Walter Seaman, is to stimulate high school students' interest in mathematics.

Following the relay race, participants will complete a brief questionnaire designed to measure interest in mathematics and other quantitative subjects, then adjourn for lunch. A 2:30 p.m. address by UI economics professor Carol Fethke will be followed by an awards ceremony, with plaques and certificates to be awarded to the winners.

Winners of the UI Mathematics Competition will be invited to participate in the first annual statewide mathematics competition to be hosted May 1 by the new Iowa Math League. According to UI mathematics professor Paul Muhly, the success of last year's UI competition, in part, is responsible for the creation of the Iowa Math League, an organization of Iowa high schools, and the group's statewide competition.

UI Mathematics Competition planners include Seaman, Muhly and Sandra Stockman, mathematics department administrative assistant.