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Who Wants to Be a Mathematician at the 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting

On Who Wants to Be a Mathematician's second trip to Vancouver, Anne Lim, a junior from Burnaby North Seconday School in British Columbia, won US$2500 and a TI-Nspire CX. The game was part of Family Science Days at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Below Anne talks about her plans for her winnings.

Videos of highlights from the game:

and a slideshow:

The contestants, pictured below, are (left to right):

  • Anne Lim, Burnaby North Secondary School
  • Oscar Xia, St. George's School
  • Jomar Sastrillo, Windermere Secondary School
  • Arshia Beigi, West Vancouver Secondary School


audience game action

The game was wide open, with each of the four contestants occupying first place at some point in the game, either by themselves or in a tie. Jomar was in first for the longest time, for two straight questions. Going into the last question, one on combinatorics, Arshia and Oscar were tied for first. Anne won by being the only contestant to answer the question correctly. Finishing first earned her $500, a TI-Nspire CX, and a chance at the $2000 Bonus Question.

Anne worked very hard on the question, using up almost all the allotted three minutes, and signaled in right before time was up. Her answer was correct, which earned her another $2000.

Anne Lim

As you may have been able to guess, Oscar and Arshia tied for second. The tie was broken via a tie-breaking question conducted at the AMS booth. Oscar was the first to answer correctly, which gave him second place and a copy of Maple 15.

tie-breaking question
Below are the prizes won by the four contestants:
  • TI-Nspire CX from Texas Instruments and $2500 from the AMS: Anne Lim
  • Maple 15 from Maplesoft: Oscar Xia
  • Calculus by Anton, Bivens and Davis, from John Wiley and Sons: Arshia Beigi
  • What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences, from the AMS: Jomar Sastrillo

Thanks to Linda Cendes (AAAS) and Melania Alvarez (Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences) for help arranging and promoting the game. The AMS also thanks sponsors Texas Instruments, Maplesoft, and John Wiley and Sons for supporting Who Wants to Be a Mathematician.

Read about some of the other mathematics events at the 2012 AAAS meeting.

Photographs by AMS Public Awareness Officer Annette Emerson (judge), and Bill Butterworth (Who Wants to Be a Mathematician co-creator and judge) of Depaul University. Text by Mike Breen (Who Wants to Be a Mathematician host and AMS Public Awareness Officer).

Find out more about Who Wants to Be a Mathematician.