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University of Iowa News Release

March 1, 2003

UI Holds Annual High School Math Tournament March 6

The University of Iowa will hold the eighth annual UI Mathematics Tournament for about 100-150 eastern Iowa high school students on Saturday, March 6 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 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 winners of the events will be announced at an awards ceremony at 2:30 p.m., which will be preceded by words of welcome from Interim Provost Patricia Cain.

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 College of Engineering and the Office of the Provost provide supplementary support. Dean Gary Fethke and professor Carol Fethke, both from the College of Business, and Mrs. Catharine Wegner, a 1934 UI alumna who majored in math and became a long-time math teacher, personally have helped to underwrite the event over the years. Computer personnel from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences helped program the software to score and tally the events.

Winners of the UI Mathematics Competition will be invited to participate in the annual statewide mathematics competition to be hosted in April by the Iowa Mathematics League. In addition, participants at designated competitions, such as the UI contest, who score 50 percent or better in any event will be invited to the state meet. According to UI mathematics professor Paul Muhly, the success of the annual competition is partly responsible for the creation of the Iowa Math League, an organization of Iowa high schools, and the statewide math competition. The goal of the competition is to stimulate high school students' interest in mathematics. According to Muhly, "Such competitions should be viewed as playing the same role relative to quantitative disciplines as debate plays in developing communication skills."

UI Mathematics Tournament planners include professors Oguz Durumeric, Yi Li, Paul Muhly, George Nelson, Walter Seaman, and Tuong Ton-That; and Sandra Stockman, department of mathematics administrative assistant.

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 335-0781.

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

CONTACTS: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,