WCU to host 38th annual High School Mathematics Contest

More than 600 of the region’s top high school and junior high school mathematics students will compete when Western Carolina University host its 38th annual High School Mathematics Contest on Thursday, April 3.

The students, representing 33 schools, will vie for individual and school awards, as well as the chance of advancement to regional and statewide mathematics contests.

The competition will take place in the Ramsey Regional Activity Center. Registration will open at 9:15 a.m., orientation starts at 10 a.m., and testing begins at 10:25 a.m. Students will have 70 minutes to complete the exams.

In addition to individual awards, winning teams will be decided in two senior high divisions and in a single junior high division. Last year’s winners were Roberson High School in the 4A-3A division and Carolina Day School in the high school 2A-1A division, and Cane Creek Middle School in the junior high division.

Competition will be offered in four subject divisions: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Comprehensive. Western is one of 21 sites comprising the statewide contest network.

The top 10 percent of winners in Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry advance to the state finals for the Western North Carolina region at the University of North Carolina at Asheville on May 1. Students scoring in the top 8 percent in the Comprehensive division qualify for the State Mathematics Contest on April 24 at the School of Science and Mathematics in Durham.

The top 20 finishers in the state will be offered full scholarships to attend a North Carolina college or university of their choice, including WCU.

Winners in Western’s mathematics contest will be announced at 1:15 p.m. Awards will include certificates of merit to the top finishers who qualify for the next round of competition in each subject division and certificates of participation for all contestants. Plaques will be awarded to the top three schools in each team division. Each of the winning schools will receive a rotating trophy for a year.

While the contestants are taking their exams, their faculty sponsors will hear a presentation by Elaine Franklin, director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education, and Erin McManus, coordinator of the Pre-College Program, titled “Programs of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education and the Pre-College Program.”

Welcoming the students will be Niall Michelsen, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Randy Harter, president of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics; and Mark Holliday, head of the mathematics and computer science department.

Ralph Willis, associate professor of mathematics, is contest chairman. Division chairpersons are Axelle Faughn, Algebra I; Jeffrey Lawson, Algebra II; Risto Atanasov, Geometry; and Nicholas Norgaard, Comprehensive. Testing coordinator is Joseph Klerlein.

For more information, contact Willis at (828) 227-3946.