While football bowl season is still a few weeks off, math bowl season is now under way.
Next Tuesday, Oct. 27, more than 600 high school students will descend on UT Knoxville for the UT-Pro2Serve Math Contest, an annual day-long event pitting students from across the state in both individual and team competitions testing their mathematics skills.
Students will participate in the individual competition, which consists of two comprehensive written math tests. The first test is a machine graded multiple choice exam, and the top 50 scorers on that test move on to take a second, essay-style test.
The top 10 individual winners each will receive four-year, $4,000 scholarships to UT Knoxville, funded by the chancellor’s office, that can be used for any major at the Knoxville campus.
In addition, teams of three students each representing high schools across the state will participate in the Math Bowl, a live 64-team double elimination competition for bragging rights, along with trophies for winning schools and medals for winning participants. The competition resembles other academic contests, with teams competing head-to-head to answer questions first.
The heart of the competition, according to organizers, is a desire to enhance math education in the state while at the same time providing students with incentive and interest to choose a science, technology, engineering or math major. Known as the STEM disciplines, increasing enrollment in these fields has been listed as a major national priority to enhance America’s global competitiveness in business and technology.
This is the eleventh year for the contest, which is sponsored by the UT Knoxville mathematics department and Pro2Serve Professional Services, a technical and engineering services company based in Oak Ridge providing innovative solutions to government and private industry on critical security, defense, facilities and infrastructure, nuclear nonproliferation and environmental projects.