March 22, 2005

Competition draws students from four states Math field day set for Friday, April 1

by Paula Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- High school math whizzes from four states will crunch the numbers at the upcoming math field day competition in the SIU Arena at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Students from 50 schools in Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee will gather on Friday, April 1, to compete for a college scholarship and other prizes.

From 10 a.m. to noon, competitors will whip through a mathematics test designed, presented and scored by the University's Mathematics faculty. The awards ceremony will begin at 2:15 p.m.

Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to cover Math Field Day. High school participants will be available for interviews during the awards ceremony at 2:15 p.m. in the SIU Arena. For more information, call or look for George Parker, vice chair of the mathematics department and organizer of this year's competition. His phone at 618/453-6569 and his e-mail address is

The competition challenges students to solve problems in areas that range from algebra to pre-calculus, trigonometry and calculus.

There are individual and team awards. The highest-scoring junior will receive an academic scholarship offered through the College of Science to attend SIUC. The award is worth up to $4,000 toward tuition over a four-year period.

In addition, teams will receive trophies and ribbons in three divisions: Class A - schools with fewer than 250 students; Class AA - between 250 and 750 students; and Class AAA - more than 750 students. Certificates also are given for individual accomplishments in each academic division.

Some school teams practice all year for the competition. A maximum of 24 students, six per grade level from each school, may compete.

During the competition, teachers will attend a session geared just for them. It opens at 10 a.m., in the E.T. and Katy Simonds Alumni Lounge in the Engineering Building.