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.
Kyle Gatesman, a senior at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia, won \$1,000 playing Who Wants to Be a Mathematician at the USA Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF) on April 6. Kyle qualified for five straight years at games that took place in Washington, DC: at the USASEF in even-numbered years and at the National Math Festival in odd-numbered years. Here are videos of the action, followed by a hip hop performance by Professor Lyrical from the University of the District of Columbia, and Kyle just after his victory.
Below are photos and a description of the game. First, Professor Lyrical with the six contestants.
Front (left to right): Chloe Noh, Richard Montgomery High School, and Pravi Putalapattu, Basis Independent McLean. Back (l to r): Kyle Gatesman, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Cameron Gavaler, Rockbridge County High School, Professor Lyrical, Josh Engels, Walt Whitman High School, and Mark MacGuidwin, St. Albans School
During the game, Kyle answered all the questions correctly to take first place. He and Josh were tied after question six, with Pravi--an eighth grader--in third place. Pravi answered the next two questions correctly to finish in second place, while Josh finished third. Kyle earned \$1,000, a TI-Nspire CX, and a chance at the \$2,000 Bonus Question. Unfortunately, Kyle did not answer the Bonus Question correctly, but he did have a successful afternoon (and career) playing Who Wants to Be a Mathematician. Below: Pravi and Kyle after the game with their uncashable checks.
Note: Mark and Cameron tied for fifth and opted for the indicated prizes.
Our sponsors: Maplesoft, the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician Technology Sponsor; Art of Problem Solving, the Online Community Sponsor; Texas Instruments; and John Wiley and Sons.
Professor Lyrical, who provided the pre-Bonus Question entertainment.
The students, teachers, and math fans who attended and enthusiastically cheered on the contestants and Professor Lyrical.
Bill Butterworth (Who Wants to Be a Mathematician co-creator and tech guru), DePaul University, who managed to get through convention security so he could run the game.
The AV crew, which provided sharp pictures and clear sound (which, unfortunately, didn't make it to our video).
Find out more about Who Wants to Be a Mathematician. See information about the AMS hands-on activity at the 2018 USASEF.
AMS Public Awareness Officer Annette Emerson and PAO Assistant Samantha Faria took all the photos. Samantha shot the videos. Text by AMS Public Awareness Officer and Who Wants to Be a Mathematician host Mike Breen.