DANBURY, Conn. -- Western Connecticut State University in Danbury will host the American Mathematical Society’s high school competition “Who Wants to be a Mathematician?” in Ives Concert Hall on Tuesday, April 5.
Making its way to Connecticut for the first time, “Who Wants to be a Mathematician?” is a regional event that travels to universities and science centers in different states, connecting high school math stars with a competitive yet entertaining game that culminates in a national showcase.
Since 2001, nearly 600 students nationwide have won more than $400,000 in cash and prizes. Similar to television’s “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” the game allows qualifying students the chance to showcase their math talents and meet other students with similar interests, all while having fun and being cheered on by an audience of teachers, classmates, family and friends.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be at 9 a.m. in Ives Concert Hall, White Hall on the WCSU Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Mike Breen, the mathematical society’s public awareness officer and co-creator of the game, hosts the competition, which offers multiple-choice questions regarding common high school topics such as algebra, number theory, combinatorics, geometry, trigonometry, probability, math history and logic.
During a visit to Michigan to give a talk at Albion College last March, Dr. Stavros Christofi, associate professor in the WCSU Department of Mathematics, got a chance to watch a regional game held at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He was impressed with the energetic atmosphere of the event, which featured an assortment of spirited students, faculty and family members rooting for their teams. He was determined to bring this kind of enthusiasm to WCSU.
“Our goal was to attract as many high schools as we could from Connecticut and even some from New York,” Christofi said.
Following a qualifying test, students from 14 high schools were selected to participate: Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Greenwich, New Milford, Newtown, Nonnewaug, Pawling (N.Y.), Pomperaug, Shepaug Valley, Simsbury, Immaculate and Loomis Chaffee.
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