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No problem: Students show off mathematics skills at annual competition

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


MANHATTAN — Five Kansas State University students beat the odds — and the evens — at the university's recent 17th annual S. Thomas Parker Mathematics Competition.

The competition is part of the annual nationwide Mathematics Awareness Month and is conducted to encourage Kansas State University students to strengthen their mathematical skills and to promote mathematics education among students.

The S. Thomas Parker endowment and university's Math Club fund the competition. The competition is open to all full-time Kansas State University students who are in their first two years of college. Participants were given three hours to solve five problems in mathematics, ranging from high school level to the first two years of collegiate mathematics. One problem from the competition asked students how many zeros were at the end of the answer to one times two times three times … 2,014 times 2,015.

The following students placed in the 20145 S. Thomas Parker Mathematics Competition:

From Manhattan: Nicholas Donohoue, mathematics and physics major, second-place tie; Sarah Featherstone, chemical engineering major, third place; and Aaron Messerla, mathematics major, first place.

Natasha Graham, physics major, Olathe, second-place tie; Jessica McCall, mathematics and biology major, Topeka, second-place tie.

Awards will be presented Tuesday, April 14 at the annual Friends of Mathematics Banquet. Each Parker competition winner will receive a cash award and two certificates: a personal certificate and a framed certificate for the student organization of his or her choice that honors the achievement.

The next Parker Competition will be in spring 2017; there is no registration fee. For more information on the competition, including past winners, previous problems and their solutions, see the Parker competition website at http://www.math.ksu.edu/events/parker-mathcomp/ or call the mathematics department at 785-532-6750.


David Auckly


S. Thomas Parker Mathematics Competition 

News tip

Manhattan, Olathe and Topeka

Written by

Darrah Tinkler

At a glance

Kansas State University students competed for cash prizes at the annual S. Thomas Parker Mathematics Competition.