Gloria Prothe
Department of Mathematics

KU students take part in math competitions

Wed, 05/11/2022

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas students have tested their mathematical prowess at local, state and national events.

KU Math Prize Competition

The 39th annual event, sponsored by the Department of Mathematics, took place in April. Open to all KU undergraduates, the written exam for each level covered six questions to be completed in three hours. Cash awards were presented to the top three winners at both levels.

The junior level was open to all undergraduates of non-senior standing and assumes a knowledge of first-year calculus. The winners of the junior level:

First place: Colin Marett, a junior in mathematics and computer science from Lawrence.

Second place: Nikita Kuzin, a sophomore in mathematics and economics from Odesa, Ukraine.

Third place: Siddharth Dodia, a first-year student in computer science from Kodinar, India. Dodia also was the top first-year student.

The senior level is open to all undergraduates and covers a range of standard topics of undergraduate math. The winner of the senior level:

First place: Tae Sung Cho, a junior in mathematics from Seoul, Korea. 

Second place: Cael Harris, a senior in mathematics from Baldwin City. 

Third place: Ella Barnes, a senior in mathematics from Elkhorn, Nebraska.

Hailong Dao, professor of mathematics, and Dionyssis Mantzavinos, assistant professor of mathematics, were in charge of the competition.

Kansas Collegiate Math Competition

KU undergraduate students took first place in the team competition at the 2022 Kansas Collegiate Math Competition, which was April 9 at Benedictine College. The competition is part of the yearly meeting of the Kansas section of the Mathematical Association of America.

The competition is team-based, with students working together in groups of two or three to complete 10 problems in three hours. Teams from undergraduate institutions in Kansas took part. Cash awards were given to the top teams. KU had the first-place team.

First-place team members were Tae Sung Cho; Matthew Hunt, a sophomore in mathematics and physics from Kechi; and Annie Simon, a junior in mathematics from Topeka. 

Paul Cazeaux, assistant professor of mathematics, and Zhipeng Liu, associate professor of mathematics, coached the team. Mantzavinos co-organized with Scott Thuong, assistant professor of mathematics at Pittsburg State University, the intercollegiate competition portion of the program.

William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition

The KU team participated along with 427 teams in the Mathematical Association of America’s William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. Called one of the toughest math competitions in the world, the Putnam exam is a mathematics competition open to all regularly enrolled undergraduates in colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. The competition took place in December. KU’s team consisted of Cho, Hunt and Simon.

Jeremy Martin, professor of mathematics; Liu and Cazeaux conducted training sessions for the Putnam exam.

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