Purdue to host Indiana's top students for MATHCOUNTS regional competition

February 4, 2014  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University will host 90 of the state's brightest students from 10 schools for the MATHCOUNTS regional competition on Saturday (Feb. 8).

MATHCOUNTS is a national math enrichment and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement across the United States. The event, which is open to the public, is from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Stewart Center.

"We are very excited to host 10 schools this year," said Vincent Drnevich, professor emeritus of civil engineering and co-director for the Purdue MATHCOUNTS regional competition. "It is great to see so many schools and students getting involved in an academic event that emphasizes math concepts, problem-solving skills and teamwork."

Each school begins training in the fall and selects a four-member team of students in grades 6-8 to compete in one of the more than 500 regional competitions held nationwide. Students also have the option to compete as individuals to reach the state finals and earn a spot on the Indiana team for the national competition.

The winners at the regional level proceed to the state competition where the top four "Mathletes" and top coach earn the right to represent their state or territory at the national level.

The MATHCOUNTS Countdown Round starts at 1:30 p.m. In this fast-moving event, the top students from the morning competition will compete in answering questions projected onto a screen. An awards celebration will follow the countdown round.

Schools competing in Purdue's regional competition include Carroll Middle School, Flora; East Tipp Middle School, near Lafayette; Happy Hollow Elementary School, West Lafayette; Joseph F. Tuttle Middle School, Crawfordsville; Klondike Middle School, near West Lafayette; Lafayette Tecumseh Junior High School; Lebanon Middle School; Noblesville West Middle School; West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School; and Zionsville Middle School.

Purdue's College of Engineering and College of Science, along with the A.A. Potter chapter of the Indiana Society Professional Engineers, are the primary organizers of the event.

"MATHCOUNTS is a great opportunity to see students engaged in an exciting and challenging mathematics competition," said Bill Walker of the College of Science K-12 Outreach Program and co-director for the Purdue MATHCOUNTS regional competition.

"The most exciting parts of the competition include the Team Round where students must work together to solve challenging problems and the Countdown Round, where participants compete head-to-head and are eliminated until a champion is determined."

Indiana students have a strong history of success at the nationwide competition.

In 2012 Chad Qian of Indianapolis captured the MATHCOUNTS national competition and the Indiana MATHCOUNTS Team finished 18th in the nation. Mark Sellke of West Lafayette was the MATHCOUNTS national champion and the Indiana Team finished fifth in the nation in 2012.   

Writers: Brooke Fruits, 260-927-4371, bfruits@purdue.edu

Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu 

Sources: Vincent Drnevich, 765-494-5029, drnevich@purdue.edu   

Bill Walker, 765-494-5890, wswalker@purdue.edu

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