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.

*"Thank you for hosting such a wonderful event. My students and I had a fabulous time. I had not attended in several years, and I enjoyed seeing how much it has grown. Hopefully, it will not snow next year on Pi Day!"*

*"Thank you so much--it was a great experience and the kids had a blast!"*

*"Another great event. We love coming up for it & our kids had a blast."*

*"Thank you for an awesome event. We all really enjoy the contest. We really appreciated the opportunity to attend and the kids really let Sam know that he was a math rock star. I think any event that encourages and supports math and emphasizes problem solving is definitely a positive experience for students." *

A standing-room-only crowd of 280 students and teachers watched 12 Rhode Island high school students compete in two exciting games of *Who Wants to Be a Mathematician* at Providence College on March 23. Alexander Galarraga, a senior at Classical High School, was the big winner in the games that were rescheduled from Pi Day because of winter storm Stella. Here's Alex just after his victory:

**Frank Ford** of the Providence College Department of Mathematics and Computer Science started the day by welcoming the crowd and introducing the schools who were represented that day. Then AMS Executive Director Catherine Roberts introduced the contestants and gave them certificates--that recognized their qualification for the game--from Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, and Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Front, left to right: **Catherine Roberts**, AMS; **Ella Xu**, St. Mary Academy - Bay View; **Yiru Li**, Lincoln High School; **Julianna Hill**, Westerly High School; **Jacob Jorgensen**, North Providence High School; **William Yao**, Barrington High School; and **Sam Williams**, The Prout School.

Back: **Jonny Zhang**, Barrington High School; **Andrew Rogers**, East Providence High School; **Alexander Galarraga**, Classical High School; **David Catabingan**, Cumberland High School; **Kevin Nguyen**, Woonsocket High School; and **Mary Stack**, Portsmouth High School

Note: **Matthew Sawoski** of The Wheeler School also qualified but was not able to attend when the game had to be rescheduled.

**Video highlights** from the day (we'll have more videos soon).

**Photo album**:

Below is a **summary** of the two games at Providence College and a few more photos.

This game featured two qualifiers from the 2016 contest, Ella Xu and Jonny Zhang. During the game we learned that Jonny did get to fulfill his wish that he shared at last year's game--he did get to see Hamilton. All six contestants answered the first three questions correctly but none got question four right. Jonny took sole possession after question five, an algebra question, by being the only contestant to answer correclty, but Ella took over first place when she was the only one to answer the next question correctly. Jacob and Mary joined Ella and Jonny in getting question seven correct, while David and Andrew joined Ella and Jonny to answer the last question correctly. As a result, Ella won game one, winning $500 from the AMS, a TI-Nspire from Texas Instruments, and a slot in the Square-Off Round against the eventual game two winner. Jonny finished second, 100 points behind Ella. David and Andrew tied for third, and Mary and Jake tied for fifth.

Game two was a wild one with five of the six contestants holding the lead or sharing it at some point in the game. Yiru, who also qualified for the 2016

By being the first to answer correctly, Alex won the Square-Off, which increased his cash winnings to $1,000 and earned him a chance at the $2,000 Bonus question. Unfortunately, he didn't answer it correctly but he was still pretty happy about how he did.

Below are the **cash and prizes awarded **to the 12 contestants.

**TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator**from*Texas Instruments***$1,000**from the:**AMS****Alexander Galarraga**, Classical High School**TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator**from*Texas Instruments***$500**from the:**AMS****Ella Xu**, St. Mary Academy - Bay View**Maple 2016**from:*Maplesoft***Jonny Zhang**, Barrington High School, and**Kevin Nguyen**, Woonsocket High Schoolby Anton, Bivens and Davis from*Calculus with Early Transcendentals*:*John Wiley and Sons***Andrew Rogers**, East Providence High School, and**Sam Williams**, The Prout Schoolfrom the*112 Combinatorial Problems from the AwesomeMath Summer Program*:**AMS****David Catabingan**, Cumberland High School, and**Yiru Li**, Lincoln High Schoolfrom the*Mathematical Understanding of Nature: Essays on Amazing Physical Phenomena and Their Understanding by Mathematicians*:*AMS***Julianna Hill**, Westerly High School, and**Jacob Jorgensen**, North Providence High Schoolfrom the*What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences, Vol. 10*:*AMS***Mary Stack**, Portsmouth High School, and**William Yao**, Barrington High School

**Thanks** very much to our sponsors: Maplesoft, the *Who Wants to Be a Mathematician* Technology Sponsor; Art of Problem Solving, our Online Community Sponsor; Texas Instruments; and John Wiley and Sons. Thanks also to Frank Ford and Lynne DeMasi of the Providence College Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, who arranged everything for the game and made everyone feel welcome, and to Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Governor Gina Raimondo for the certificates. We also want to thank the AMS staff and former staff who helped out that day, but we've used thanks so much that we'll instead say *merci beaucoup* to Robin Marek, Tongtong Wang, and Sandy Breen, and to the AMS Staff Fund which made it possible for four of the schools to participate. And *muchas gracias* to the teachers and students who made it such a fun event!

Next time at Providence College: Pi Day 2018!

Photos and videos by Annette Emerson and Samantha Faria, AMS Public Awareness Office, and Tongtong Wang, AMS Development Office. Text by Mike Breen.

Find out more about *Who Wants to Be a Mathematician*.