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CSULB Hosts 11th Annual Math Day at The Beach Competition

Published: March 15, 2010

University High School of Irvine will defend its title against 34 other Southern California high schools during the 11th annual Math Day at The Beach from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 20, in the CSULB University Student Union Ballroom.

Presented by CSULB’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, the event pits teams in a math problem-solving festival. Schools will field groups of six students who compete in team as well as individual events for prizes and trophies. CSULB math Professor James Stein will be guest speaker.

More than 215 students from 35 schools as well as 11 independent individuals are participating. Schools are divided into Divisions A and B, vying for the top prize in each division. The centerpiece of the event is a 70-minute exam including both multiple choice and free response questions in high school-level mathematics, designed by CSULB Mathematics Department faculty. The contest emphasizes intuitive thinking rather than computational skill, without the use of calculators. Questions are selected from algebra, geometry, trigonometry, number theory, combinatorics, and probability and statistics.

In addition to the individual exam, there is a team round in which all members work on a set of problems in a given amount of time, and a final face-off round in which top-scoring individuals represent their team in an oral format.

As many as 17 of the approximately 500 students in the U.S. who qualified for the 2009 USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) are expected to participate, including one of the 12 national USAMO 2009 winners, ninth-grader David Yang of Diamond Bar High.

Sponsors include the Beckman Coulter Foundation, LBS Financial Credit Union and other individual donors, along with CSULB’s Mathematics and Statistics Student Association, 49er Shops Inc., and Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

For additional information, contact Professor Kent Merryfield at 562/985-5787, kmerry@csulb.edu, or visit www.csulb.edu/depts/math/mathday/index.htm.

–Anne Ambrose