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K-State Today

March 30, 2017

K-State mathematics department hosts series of math competitions for elementary, middle and high school students

By Natalia Rozhkovskaya

K-State's mathematics department has a long tradition of offering various math competitions to elementary, middle and high school students. Many faculty members realize the importance of reducing the gap in the school-to-college math-science education and offer their time and expertise to build the success of the future generation.

Math contests are an invaluable educational experience that prepares future college students to excel in science classes. Participation in math competitions allows students to learn science topics that are not included in some high schools' curriculum. Preparation for these challenging tests builds familiarity with the vocabulary and faster problem-solving techniques.

For the second year, the math department hosted 60 students who participated in the International Math Kangaroo Competition on March 17. The total number of participants in the U.S. is estimated to be more than 27,000 students in 2017. In 2016, 11 Manhattan students were recognized as state and national top score winners of the Math Kangaroo Competition. 

Event organizers include Natasha Rozhkovskaya, Rustam Sadykov and Victor Turchin, all professors of mathematics; Lado Samushia, professor of physics; Keely Grossnickle, doctoral candidate in mathematics; and Anna Poggi-Corradini, a Manhattan High School student. 

Even for the top math whiz, the key to success in a math contest is the same as in any sports competition:  practice. Practice sessions for the participants of the Math Kangaroo Competition were offered by Turchin and Auckly. These sessions were part of K-State's Math Circle Seminar, an enrichment program for students with a strong interest in mathematics, taught by K-State faculty members.

K-State also will host the Manhattan Math Olympiad from 9 a.m. to noon April 1 in 146 Cardwell Hall. Students in grades 5-12 are invited to participate in this event. No preliminary registration is required. Solution sessions and prizes will be awarded from 3-4:30 p.m. April 1. Students should bring their own paper and pencils. Read more information online or contact Yan Soibelman, professor of mathematics, at soibel@math.ksu.edu

Girls' Adventures in Math, a team math competition, will be offered 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 22, in 121 Cardwell Hall. The competition will be offered at two levels: grades 3-5 and grades 6-8. Each team will consist of up to four contestants. Contact Auckly at dav@k-state.edu for more information, or register for the competition online

K-State's mathematics department also hosts two sessions of the American Math Competition, a prestigious math competition for middle and high school students, offered in fall and winter. For more information contact Debbra Web, senior administrative assistant, at ugmath@math.ksu.edu

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