High School Students Can Win Scholarships in Math Contest

There are buzzers, eliminations and fierce competition. But there is no football and certainly no calculators in this bowl.

The UT-Pro2Serve Math Contest, hosted by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will award ten lucky and bright students $4,000 annual scholarships to UT.

In its fourteenth year, the contest allows Tennessee high school students—public, private, and home-schooled—to compete for awards and honors based on their mathematics skills. Students will compete on Thursday, October 25, on the UT campus.

Early registration for the competition has already begun and ends September 21. The cost is $10 per student. Early fees are due by September 28. General registration is open through October 10 and is $15 per student. Participants must register before the event, and all fees must be received by October 12.

“The UT-Pro2Serve Math Contest is an opportunity for high school students who are interested in mathematics to get together for a day of fun and challenges,” said Conrad Plaut, mathematics department head. “It is very important to maintain a mathematical interest in these students, which will serve them well as they pursue an education and careers in science, mathematics, engineering, finance, and other fields.”

Plaut said the contest is also an opportunity to showcase UT and increase the likelihood that these talented students will attend the university and go on to make positive contributions to Tennessee’s future.

The contest has two parts. The first is the two-stage FERMAT. All participants take a multiple-choice test on algebra and geometry, called the Fundamental Exams of Remarkable Mathematical Ability and Talent (FERMAT I). The top fifty students move on to the next level of testing called FERMAT II. This test has eight essay questions, requiring creative and original thinking. The ten students with the highest scores will each receive an annual $4,000 scholarship for four years for undergraduate study at UT Knoxville. All exams are hand-graded by faculty members from UT’s Department of Mathematics.

The second part of the contest is the Math Bowl. A three-member team from each high school faces an opposing high school team in a double-elimination tournament in the style of the old GE College Bowl competitions. Sixty-four high school teams compete head-to-head to be the fastest to answer 10 math questions correctly.

The championship round will be held from 3:30-3:50 p.m.

A full schedule can be found here.

The contest is presented by the College of Arts and Sciences mathematics department and UT alumnus Barry Goss and his company, Professional Project Services Inc. (Pro2Serve®).

“As business-owner in Tennessee, we personally understand the importance of advancing the growth of knowledge and retaining talent in our state,” Goss said. “We aim to have the brightest math minds in Tennessee high schools further their education in Tennessee, hopefully at UT, and remain here after graduation to live and work.”

Pro2Serve provides technical and engineering services that support the infrastructures of government and private industry and helps ensure our nation’s security. The media sponsor is the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Scholarships are funded by UT and Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek.

To register, visit the math department’s website or call 865-974-2461.

C O N T A C T :

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460, wheins@utk.edu)

Bryan Self (865-974-2461, cself1@tennessee.edu)

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