Who Wants To Be A Mathematician in Rhode Island!The AMS presented the Who Wants To Be A Mathematician game as part of Math Awareness Month celebrations on April 25 at Rhode Island College. The contest drew eleven contestants from around Rhode Island. Prizes ranged from a "graphite calculator" (a pencil) to the top prize, $2,000,donated by the AMS.
After taking part in the nerve-wracking "fastest finger" testing, four qualifiers faced increasingly difficult pre-calculus questions with multiple-choice answers. However, the difficult questions were offset by the entertaining emcee, Mike Breen, AMS Public Awareness Officer and game-creator.
Jonathan Goulet, from Classical High School in Providence, was high-achiever for the day, the only contestant to win the top $2,000 prize.On his way to the top, Goulet made use of all of his "lifelines." Patterned after the popular television show,"Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," the AMS version offers the lifelines Ask Your Teacher, 50-50, and Ask the Audience. Rhode Island College math students were on hand to offer help during the Ask the Audience option.
The three other qualifying contestants in the rounds of play were Nathaniel Walker from Burrillville High School, who won a free subscription to The College Mathematics Journal published by the MAA; Jeremy Gordon from Exeter-West Greenwich High School, who won a T-shirt; and AlexanderMarcus from the Wheeler School, who also won a T-shirt.
The other Rhode Island students who took part in the event were: Bryan Cole, Bishop Hendricken High School; John Hawley, Toll Gate High School; Tom Howard, Cumberland High School; Alanna Hughes, Providence Country Day; Chris King, Ponaganset High School; Emilie Pressman, Lincoln School; and Elizabeth Toher, LaSalle Academy.
The AMS plans to present the game again at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, January 2002, and in Rhode Island next spring.