Banterra Center

Photo by Yenitza Melgoza

March 21, 2023

Students from 30 high schools to compete in SIU’s Math Field Day

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Young mathematicians from two states will once again travel to Southern Illinois University Carbondale for a day of competitions, comradery and achievement.

The annual Math Field Day is set for Tuesday, March 28, at the Banterra Center. Organizers expect students from about 30 schools in Illinois and Missouri to compete for prizes. A maximum of 36 students from each school, nine per grade, may compete.

Event tests math skills

The event includes a comprehensive test designed, presented and scored by faculty in the mathematics degree program. Hands-on workshops will be presented during the break between the exam and the awards ceremony.

The testing kicks off at 10 a.m. and runs until noon. Organizers will present awards beginning at 2 p.m. at Shryock Auditorium.

All students will take the same two-hour exam. Topics range from beginning algebra and geometry through trigonometry and college algebra. A few questions venture into calculus, finite mathematics and a “clever thinking” problem.

Workshops, prizes on tap

After a pizza lunch, students will participate in workshops between 1 and 1:30 p.m. provided by SIU faculty and graduate students at various campus locations.

The top two finishers in each grade, freshman through senior, will receive cash awards again this year. First place winners will receive $75 while second place winners take home $50 each.

Top-scoring student teams will receive trophies or ribbons in three divisions based on school enrollment size. Students also can win certificates for individual accomplishments in each academic division.

Teachers program set

SIU will host a program for math teachers during the event, as well. The program is set for 10 a.m. in the Roger & Sally Tedrick Auditorium, Boydston Center, Room 189, at the Banterra Center. Speakers will be Thara Lowndes, director of the Computer-Based Math Program Project at SIU, and Wesley Calvert, associate professor in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.

For more information, contact co-chairs Kathy Pericak-Spector, retired professor of mathematics, or Ron Nagrodski, senior lecturer in the mathematics degree program, at 618-453-5302 or