math equations on a chalk board

March 26, 2024

Students from 30 schools expected today at SIU Math Field Day

by Tim Crosby

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

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the annual Math Field Day competition, set for today, March 26, at the Banterra Center. Organizers expect students from about 30 schools in Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri to attend and compete for prizes. A maximum of 32 students, eight per grade from each school, 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 the Banterra Center.

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

Prizes on tap

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. The featured speaker will be Jurek “Jerzy” Kocik, professor in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.

For more information, contact Ron Nagrodski, senior lecturer in the mathematics degree program, at 618-453-5302 or