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University of Iowa News Release

 

March 2, 2010

UI holds annual high school mathematics tournament March 6

The University of Iowa will hold the 14th annual UI Mathematics Tournament for about 100 to 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 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 Randi Levitz, an expert on college student retention, will address the group.

In 1984, she co-founded Noel-Levitz, a national college management consulting company with offices in Iowa City and Denver, Colo. Levitz is a member of the Advisory Board of the UI's internationally known center, the UI College of Education's Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development.

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).

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 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 Katherine L. Muhly. Computer personnel from the UI 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, said Muhly.

UI Mathematics Tournament planners include professors Muhly, Oguz Durumeric and Walter Seaman. Doug Slauson will provide technical 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 paul-muhly@uiowa.edu or by calling 319-335-0759.

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, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu