Math all-stars will compete on campus March 20

Western Carolina University will host its 43rd annual High School Mathematics Contest on Wednesday, March 20, with 466 of the region’s top high school and junior high school mathematics students competing.

The students, representing 29 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, “Fostering a Smooth Transition from High School to College,” that will be presented by Smoky Mountain High School mathematics teacher Connie Danner and three WCU representatives – academic adviser Alicia Cameron, assistant professor of mathematics Geoff Goehle and Mathematics Tutoring Center director Nory Prochaska.

WCU, part of a statewide contest network, offers competition in four subject divisions: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Comprehensive. The numbers of students expected to compete in each division are 103 for Algebra I, 113 for Algebra II, 114 for Geometry and 136 for Comprehensive.

The top 10 percent of winners in Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry advance to the state finals for the western region, which will be held at the University of North Carolina at Asheville on Thursday, April 25. Students scoring in the top 8 percent in the Comprehensive division qualify for the State Mathematics Contest that will be held Thursday, April 11, 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; Richard Starnes, dean of WCU’s College of Arts and Sciences; and Tuval Foguel, head of WCU’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Axelle Faughn and Risto Atanasov, WCU assistant professors of mathematics, are the contest chairpersons. Division chairpersons are Nathan Borchelt, Algebra I; Andrew Chockla, Algebra II; Charley Sheaffer, 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 main arena of the Ramsey Center. Harter will participate in the awards ceremony along with the contest and university representatives named above.

Participating schools, listed by county, are


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

Haywood: Tuscola High and Waynesville Middle.

Henderson: North Henderson High.

Jackson: Smoky Mountain High.

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

Mitchell: Mitchell High.

Polk: Polk County High.

Rutherford: Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy.

Transylvania: Brevard High and Brevard Middle.


Buncombe: Asheville Christian Academy, Asheville Home School, Carolina Day Middle, Carolina Day and Hanger Hall.