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Who Wants to Be a Mathematician at the 2014 College of Charleston Math Meet

The College of Charleston campus


The Who Wants to Be a Mathematician crew sadly left their frozen hometowns and trudged through the snow to make their way to Charleston, South Carolina for the College of Charleston's 2014 Math Meet on February 22. The big winner in the game was David Stoner, a junior at South Aiken High School (in SC), who won $3,000 from the AMS and a TI-Nspire CX from Texas Instruments. David also had the top score on the Math Meet's written test taken earlier in the day.


Created with flickr slideshow.


Videos from the game:


Below are more details about the games that day along with more photos from the event.


Selection process

Math faculty member and Math Meet organizer Alex Kasman announced the qualifiers.


Contestants (above right), left to right: Jack Wang (Porter-Gaud School), Selina Pi (Academic Magnet High School), Aman Singh (Charlotte Math Club), Andy Xu (Upstate South Carolina Math Circle), David Liu (Hammond School), Lloyd Liu (Charlotte Math Club), David Stoner (South Aiken High School), and Isaac Baum (D.W. Daniel High School)


The audience files in to see what turned out to be a fairly young group of contestants, especially in game two: Aman Singh is an eighth grader and Andy Xu is in seventh grade.

Game one contestants

David Stoner and Lloyd each answered the first four questions correctly, so they were tied for first at the halfway point. Their joint mastery continued for one more question but David and Jack Wang were the only two to get question six correct, so Jack moved into second place. All four contestants finished strongly, each answering the last two questions correctly. So David was the winner, earning $500 from the AMS and the TI-Nspire CX from Texas Instruments.

Game two contestants

The second game was a very tight battle. After question five, Aman and Selina were tied for first. Aman broke the tie and moved into first place alone on question six. Then Andy took over first on question seven. Selina and David Liu both answered the last question correctly, but it was not quite enough for Selina to win. She finished 100 points behind Andy. Only 600 points separated the four contestants at the end. Andy moved into the Square-Off Round against David Stoner.

Square-Off Round

The two contestants went head-to-head on one question for another $500 and a chance at the $2,000 Bonus Question. Andy signaled in first but was incorrect. After about a minute, David signaled in and was correct, so it was his chance at the big money. He used all of his three minutes on the question, but, as he later revealed, he spent most of the time checking his answer by doing the problem different ways. All of his approaches led him to the same answer, the correct one, so he tripled his money and brought his cash winnings to $3,000.

Andy and David


Here are all the prizes and cash won by the contestants:


  • TI-Nspire CX graphing caclulator from Texas Instruments and $3000 from the AMS: David Stoner, South Aiken High School
  • TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator from Texas Instruments and $500 from the AMS: Andy Xu, Upstate South Carolina Math Circle
  • Maple 17 from Maplesoft: Jack Wang, Porter-Gaud School (Mount Pleasant, SC) and Selina Pi, Academic Magnet High School (Charleston)
  • Calculus with Early Transcendentals by Anton, Bivens and Davis from John Wiley and Sons: Lloyd Liu and Aman Singh, both of the Charlotte Math Club
  • What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences from the AMS: David Liu, Hammond School (Columbia, SC), and Isaac Baum, D.W. Daniel High School (Clemson, SC)

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 Alex Kasman, fellow math faculty member Brenton LeMesurier, and math major Fill Staley, who helped with arrangements and setting up.

Find out more about Who Wants to Be a Mathematician. Read more about the College of Charleston Math Meet.