Department of Mathematics Hosts Inaugural Mathematics Prize Competition

2016 student math prize winners (front row): Vinh Truong, Elizabeth Sprangel and James Hallas. Back row: Professors David Richter, Patrick Bennett and Andrzej Dudek

2017 Math prize competition

Western Michigan University’s Department of Mathematics will hold its second WMU Mathematics Prize Competition Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in 3309 Rood Hall with undergraduate students from all of the University’s majors and disciplines invited to compete.

The event is being organized by Drs. Patrick Bennett, assistant professor of mathematics; Andrzej Dudek, associate professor of mathematics; and David Richter, associate professor of mathematics.

With the goal of measuring raw talent, department faculty members have designed the competition to tap into students’ creative problem solving skills.

The 2017 competition prizes are:

  • First prize: $500
  • Second prize: $300
  • Third prize: $200
  • Forth prize: $100
  • Fifth prize: $50

Following the competition, faculty will hold a recognition ceremony for the honorees and will review the problems and solutions with students. The winners will represent WMU in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, which hosts about 3,600 undergraduate participants in the United States and Canada each December.

2016 Math prize Competition

Western Michigan University’s Department of Mathematics held its first WMU Mathematics Prize Competition Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 with undergraduate students from all of the University’s majors and disciplines invited to compete. 

The event was organized by Drs. Patrick Bennett, assistant professor of mathematics; Andrzej Dudek, associate professor of mathematics; and David Richter, associate professor of mathematics. According to the faculty members, the department hosted a similar competition for freshmen and sophomores in the past. In contrast, the new Mathematics Prize Competition is open to all undergraduates from all majors.

With the goal of measuring raw talent, department faculty members designed the competition to tap into students’ creative problem solving skills. A total of 21 students from various disciplines participated.

The 2016 competition winners were:

  • First prize of $200 awarded to Vinh Truong, a finance major
  • Second prize of $100 awarded to James Hallas, a dual major in English and math
  • Third prize of $50 awarded to Gabriel Hayes, a dual major in pre-chemical engineering and math; and Elizabeth Sprangel, a dual major in gender and women’s studies and math

Following the competition, faculty held a recognition ceremony for the honorees and reviewed the problems and solutions with students. The winners will represent WMU in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, which hosts about 3,600 undergraduate participants in the United States and Canada each December.