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University of Iowa News Release

March 17, 2006

Local High School Students Compete For $1,500 In Math Contest At UI

Eight Iowa high school students will have an opportunity to win up to $1,500 in cash by answering multiple choice mathematics questions when they compete in "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician," from 11 a.m. until noon Saturday, March 25, in Buchanan Auditorium, John Pappajohn Business Administration Building on the University of Iowa campus.

Free and open to the public, the event is presented by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) at several U.S. locations each year. Oguz Durumeric, associate professor in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Mathematics, said that the contest is being held in conjunction with a 10 a.m. talk. The talk - related to an institute's offer to pay $1 million each for the solution of seven problems -- is titled, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Rational Points on Curves," by Ken Ono, Solle P. and Margaret Manasse Professor of Letters and Science in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Mathematics.

Ono is visiting the UI Department of Mathematics as a Distinguished Visitor and will present Distinguished Visitor Lectures on March 23 and 24. (More information about the two lectures can be found by visiting the Web site:

Contest participants, selected on the basis of their scores on a qualifying test, include:

CEDAR FALLS: Adam Schwertner, Cedar Falls High School.

CEDAR RAPIDS: Leif Gaebler, Cedar Rapids Home School Assistance Program.

DES MOINES: Evan Waddell, Central Academy, Des Moines.

IOWA CITY: Nick Brady, City High School; Miller Li, West High School; Peter Montag, Regina High School.

MARION: Edward Talmage, Marion Home School Assistance Program.

MARSHALLTOWM: Jacob Schrum, Marshalltown High School.

The talk and contest are sponsored by the AMS, Maplesoft, Texas Instruments and John Wiley & Sons. The game Web site may be found at:

Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, the 30,000-member American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and everyday life.

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

CONTACTS: Contest: Oguz Durumeric, UI Department of Mathematics, 319-335-0774,; or Mike Breen, American Mathematical Society, 401-455-4109 (office) or 401-316-4885 (cell, 3/24 and 3/25), Media: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,