Young mathematics scholars to compete

Western Carolina University will host its 42nd annual High School Mathematics Contest on Tuesday, March 20, with 512 of the region’s top high school and junior high school mathematics students competing.

The students, representing 30 schools, will compete for individual and school awards as well as advancement to regional and state mathematics contests.

Registration opens at 9:15 a.m. in the Ramsey Regional Activity Center. Orientation of the contestants starts at 10 a.m. and testing begins at 10:30 a.m. Students will have 70 minutes to complete the exams.

While the contestants are taking their exams, faculty sponsors will be served refreshments in the Hospitality Room and participate in a session presented by Nathan Borchelt and Axelle Faughn, WCU mathematics faculty members, entitled “Using Lesson Study in a Secondary Mathematics Pre-Service Teachers’ Methods Class.”

WCU, part of a statewide contest network, offers testing in four subject divisions: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Comprehensive. Student entry totals are 119 for Algebra I, 121 for Algebra II, 126 for Geometry, and 146 for Comprehensive.

The top 10 percent of winners in Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry advance to the state finals for the western region to be held at the University of North Carolina at Asheville on Thursday, April 26. Students scoring in the top eight percent in the Comprehensive division qualify for the State Mathematics Contest to be held Thursday, April 19, at the School of Science and Mathematics in Durham.

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

Awards at the WCU contest 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, according to mean scores. Each of the winning schools receives a rotating trophy for a year.

Welcoming the students will be Randy Harter, past president of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Gibbs Knotts, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Tuval Foguel, head of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.

Mathematics faculty members Faughn and Risto Atanasov are contest chairpersons. Division chairpersons are Andrew Chockla, Algebra I; John Wagaman, Algebra II; Mark Budden, Geometry; and Geoff Goehle, Comprehensive. Testing coordinator is Kathy Jaqua.

Announcement of subject division and school winners will be at 1:15 p.m. in the main arena of the Ramsey Center. Participating in the awards ceremony in addition to the contest and university personnel named above will be Harter and Perry Schoon, dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions.

Participating public schools are:

Buncombe County: A.C. Reynolds High, A.C. Reynolds Middle, Charles D. Owen High, Charles D. Owen Middle, Clyde A. Erwin High, Clyde A. Erwin Middle, Enka High, North Buncombe High, Cane Creek Middle, T.C. Roberson High and Valley Springs Middle.

Asheville City: Asheville High and Asheville Middle.

Graham County: Robbinsville High.

Haywood County: Tuscola High.

Henderson County: North Henderson High.

Jackson County: Smoky Mountain High.

Madison County: Madison Middle.

McDowell County: McDowell High, East McDowell Junior High and West McDowell Junior High.

Mitchell County: Harris Middle and Mitchell High.

Polk County: Polk County High.

Transylvania County: Brevard Middle.

Participating private schools are:

Buncombe County: Asheville Home School Math Club, Carolina Day School and Hanger Hall School.

Mitchell County: Mayland Early College High School.

Transylvania County: Brevard Academy.