It is great that the AMS is able to conduct this competition which values and encourages mathematical talent. While sports are usually celebrated, it is wonderful that students interested in mathematics can also be encouraged. I sincerely hope that many more students gain the opportunity to participate in this competition.
A team from Florida won $4,000 total and a TI-Nspire CX for each team member when eight four-member teams competed in Who Wants to Be a Mathematician at the American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) at the University of Georgia on May 29. Here are the members of the winning team just after their victory.
Slideshow of the teams and games:
And a photo of the night's contestants:
Normally, Who Wants to Be a Mathematician involves individual contestants but since ARML is a team competition, the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician format is adapted--for example, the questions are harder--and teams compete. All the questions in the games and other rounds, which were written by ARML President Paul Dreyer, involved challenging math and were related to TV game shows, from To Tell the Truth to Total Wipe Out.
In game one, the teams from Georgia and South Carolina were tied at the halfway point. With two questions to go, Georgia moved into first with Kentucky in second. The team from South Carolina regained the lead after question seven and hung on to win game one, which gave the team $1,000 and four TI-Nspire CXs. In game two, North Carolina held the lead through five questions, but Florida moved into the lead on question six and maintained first place until the end and thus earned the same cash and prizes that South Carolina had won in the first game.
Florida answered very quickly in the Square-Off Round and was correct. That earned the team another \$1,000 and a chance at the \$2,000 Bonus Question, which was, appropriately enough, about wagering in Final Jeopardy. The four teammates weren't entirely sure about their answer, but it was correct, earning them a total of \$4,000 in addition to their Texas Instruments graphing calculators.
Game winners from Florida (above, Who Wants to Be a Mathematician emcee Mike lurking in the background) and South Carolina (right) display their "checks" and TI-Nspires.
Below are all the prizes and cash won by the contestants. Each team member received the indicated prize but the cash amounts listed are the total amounts for the team.
Thanks very much to our sponsors: Maplesoft, the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician technology sponsor, Texas Instruments, and John Wiley and Sons. Thanks also to Paul Dreyer, Debbie Poss, Dorris Gann, and Ray Gann, for arranging logistics and helping the night of the game.
Video and photos by Dorris Gann. Text by Mike Breen.