University Sponsors Regional Mathcounts Competition

University Sponsors Regional Mathcounts Competition
Mathcounts is a nationwide program to boost the math competency of middle school students with a series of competitions where students must solve complex math problems.

Local teams of sixth through eighth grade student “mathletes” competed in a regional Mathcounts competition on Feb. 25 in the Bronco Student Center.

The local contest was sponsored by the university's Electrical Engineering department in the College of Engineering, Mathematics & Statistics department in the College of Science, the Foothill Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the California Society of Professional Engineers.

Cal Poly Pomona often works with community partners to encourage K-12 students to pursue knowledge at a young age.

The day's events began with individual competitions consisting of the sprint and target rounds. The morning session wrapped up with a team round where groups of four students representing local middle and junior high schools competed amongst each other to solve challenging math problems. The top 12 individuals then competed in head-to-head countdown round in the afternoon.

Suzanne Middle School of Walnut placed first in the team competition, followed by Alvarado Middle School of Rowland Heights. The top student in the competition was Richmond Wong of Rincon Intermediate School in West Covina. Terry Xu of Suzanne Middle School was second, followed by Maggie Su from Glendoras Goddard Middle School.

Regional winners earned a spot in the California State competition held simultaneously at UC Davis and UC Irvine on March 18. The competition will culminate with a national competition to be held May 11-14 in Arlington, Va.

Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1983, Mathcounts is a nationwide program to boost the math competency of middle school students in the public school system. The program features a series of competitions with elimination rounds based on team and individual effort.

The San Gabriel Valley competition was initiated at Cal Poly Pomona in the 1980s. After rotating at various middle schools the competition returned to Cal Poly Pomona three years ago with Cal Poly Pomona students helping to conduct the contest and assistant professor of Mathematics Ioana Mihaila serving as contest chair.