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Who Wants to Be a Mathematician at the University of Nebraska
"Who Wants to be a Mathematician was a very nice addition to the normal Math Day competitions. It was well planned and well executed." Albert Zhou, a junior at Lincoln Southwest High School, delighted a packed house of over 250 students and teachers from across Nebraska when he won US$3000 and a TINspire playing Who Wants to Be a Mathematician at the University of NebraskaLincoln's Twentieth Anniversary Math Day on November 12. Approximately 1400 high school students participated in Math Day individual tests and team competitions, and witnessed the first Who Wants to Be a Mathematician webcast, which was shown in locations at the university and online.
The eight contestants were selected based on their performance on the written exam, PROBE I (Problems Requiring Original and Brilliant Effort), taken by all the students at the beginning of the day.
Jahan and Albert then squared off for another $500 and a chance at the Bonus Question, worth $2000. Albert answered very quickly and was correct, so he earned a trip to the Bonus Round.
There were many activities that day, so there wasn't much time for Albert to explain his answer to either the SquareOff question or the Bonus question, but however he solved them, he solved them well, earning a total of $3000 in cash and a TINspire. He's pictured below with Jahan, their calculators, and checks that are topologicallybut not financiallyequivalent to the real thing.
Here are all the prizes won that afternoon in Who Wants to Be a Mathematician.
The AMS thanks sponsors Texas Instruments, Maplesoft, and John Wiley and Sons for their continued generous support of Who Wants to Be a Mathematician. Thanks also to Gordon Woodward and Lori Mueller of the university's Department of Mathematics for their help, and for coordinating the many activities that day. Below are pictures of some of the 2009 Math Day individual and team winners.
Read more about Math Day, including Albert also winning the Math Day top prize of an $8000 scholarship, in the Lincoln Journal Star article about the lecture and game: "Lincoln East top team at Math Day, LSW's Zhou top individual." Random shots from Lincoln:
Photographs by Gordon Woodward (University of NebraskaLincoln Department of Mathematics), Who Wants to Be a Mathematician judge and cocreator Bill Butterworth (DePaul University Department of Mathematical Sciences), and Who Wants to Be a Mathematician host and AMS Public Awareness Officer Mike Breen. Text by Mike Breen. Find out more about Who Wants to Be a Mathematician. 
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