Who Wants to Be a Mathematician on Pi Day 2016 at Providence College
"Once again, I wanted to thank you for putting together Who Wants to Be a Mathematician. It's such a well-run event, and the students get so excited about each other and the math!"
A huge crowd turned out to celebrate Pi Day (3-14) at Providence College by watching 10 Rhode Island students compete in Who Wants to Be a Mathematician. The big winner was Jonny Zhang, a ninth grader at Barrington High School, who took home $1,000 by winning Who Wants to Be a Mathematician:
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:
Here are videos of almost all the action:
Below is a summary of Pi Day at Providence College and plenty of photos.
The contestants with certificates from Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed and Governor Gina Raimondo.
Left to right: Kevin Sanita, Warwick Veterans Memorial High School, Maggie Rong, The Prout School, Kyle Riggs, East Greenwich High School, Kelley Babphavong, Woonsocket High School, Kevin Lethbridge, East Providence High School, Host Mike Breen, formerly Needham High School, Kyle Coughlin, Classical High School, Ella Xu, St. Mary Academy-Bay View, Amanda Larsen, Portsmouth High School, Yiru Li, Lincoln High School, and Jonny Zhang, Barrington High School.
Kyle led the whole way, answering all the questions in game one correctly, which earned him $500 and a TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator. Kevin, who also qualified last year, finished second. The math history question, question three, was a bit of a stumper (Kyle was the only one to answer correctly), but all five contestants answered questions four and five correctly.
Game two featured many more lead changes than game one. Kevin and Jonny were tied for first at the halfway point, and Ella moved into first by being the only one to answer the fifth question--a math history question--correctly. She held the lead through question six, but Jonny took over first on question seven and stayed there by also answering the last question correctly. Ella and Kevin also answered the last question correctly, which put them in second and third, respectively, 100 points apart.
In the Square-Off Round, between the two winners Kyle and Jonny, Jonny signaled in just ahead of Kyle and was correct. That gave Jonny another $500 and a chance at the $2,000 Bonus Question....
He didn't get it right but did still have $1,000 and a chance to eat some pie that his classmates brought to him.
Click below to link to an album of photos from that day:
Below are the cash and prizes awarded to the 10 contestants.
- TI-Nspire CX graphing caclulator from Texas Instruments and $1,000 from the AMS: Jonny Zhang, Barrington High School
- TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator from Texas Instruments and $500 from the AMS: Kyle Coughlin, Classical High School
- Maple 2016 from Maplesoft: Kevin Sanita, Warwick Veterans Memorial High School, and Ella Xu, St. Mary Academy-Bay View
- Calculus with Early Transcendentals by Anton, Bivens and Davis from John Wiley and Sons: Yiru Li, Lincoln High School, and Kevin Lethbridge, East Providence High School
- Mathematical Understanding of Nature: Essays on Amazing Physical Phenomena and Their Understanding by Mathematicians from the AMS: Amanda Larsen, Portsmouth High School, and Kyle Riggs, East Greenwich High School
- What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences, Vol. 10 from the AMS: Maggie Rong, The Prout School, and Kelley Babphavong, Woonsocket 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 Senator Jack Reed and Governor Gina Raimondo. And thanks to the teachers and students who made it such a fun event!
Photos and videos by Annette Emerson and Samantha Faria, AMS Public Awareness Office. Text by Mike Breen.
Find out more about Who Wants to Be a Mathematician.