State's brightest young numbers minds to compete during MATHCOUNTS event at Purdue

March 11, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University will host 200 of Indiana's brightest "mathletes" at the state MATHCOUNTS competition on Saturday (March 14).

The students will compete for a spot on the four-person Indiana team that will advance to the Raytheon National MATHCOUNTS competition on May 8 in Boston. The coach of the winning school will lead the national team.

The first part of the event lasts from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the South Ballroom of the Purdue Memorial Union. The final faceoff Countdown Round, which is open to the public, will begin at 1:45 p.m. in the Class of 1950 building, Room 224, in which the top students from the morning will compete. The state competition concludes with a 2:30 p.m. awards ceremony.

Purdue will award the top 10 competing Indiana students with a four-year, partial ($2,000) scholarship to study engineering, science or math at Purdue. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute will present $5,000 renewable scholarships for the top male and female students.  

"MATHCOUNTS is a great opportunity to see students engaged in an exciting and challenging mathematics competition," said Vincent P. Drnevich, co-coordinator of the Purdue MATHCOUNTS and emeritus professor of civil engineering.

"The Countdown Round is a fast-moving event in which students respond to questions projected onto a screen. Many times the students know the answers even before the questions are read."

Regional schools participating in the state competition include Battle Ground Middle School, East Tipp Middle School, Happy Hollow Elementary School, Klondike Middle School, Tecumseh Middle School, West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School and Zionsville Middle School.

In the fall, each school trains and selects a four-member team of students in grades 6-8 to compete at one of the more than 500 regional events nationally. Students also can compete as individuals to reach the state finals and earn a spot on the Indiana team for nationals.

At this year's A.A. Potter Regional MATHCOUNTS, a team from West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School swept first place and represented the top four individuals in that competition. Finishing second was a team from Happy Hollow Elementary in West Lafayette, Zionsville Middle School placed third and East Tipp Middle School was fourth.

"We are very excited to host the state competition at Purdue once again this year," said Bill Walker, director of Purdue Science K-12 outreach and competition co-coordinator. "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."

Indiana students have a history of success at the national competition. In 2012, Chad Qian of Indianapolis was the MATHCOUNTS national champion and the Indiana MATHCOUNTS team finished 18th. In 2010, Mark Sellke of West Lafayette was the MATHCOUNTS national champion and the Indiana team finished fifth in the nation.   

The Indiana event is sponsored by Purdue's College of Engineering, Purdue's College of Science, Indiana Society of Professional Engineers, A.A. Potter Chapter of the Indiana Society Professional Engineers and the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers student chapter. The state coordinator is Patricia Behrens, associate consultant of information technology at Eli Lilly & Co.

MATHCOUNTS is a national nonprofit math enrichment and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement across the United States. Major sponsors for the national competition include the National Society of Professional Engineers, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Raytheon, U.S. Department of Defense, 3M and many others. 

Writers: Paige Pope, 765-494-2083,

Phillip Fiorini, Purdue University, 765-496-3133,

Sources: Vincent Drnevich, 765-494-5029,

Bill Walker, 765-494-5890, 

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2014-17 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Integrity Statement | Copyright Complaints | Brand Toolkit | Maintained by Marketing and Media

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact us at so we can help.