Contest News

Michigan participation in the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) continues to grow, with over 20,000 Michigan students participating. The Michigan AMC winners were honored on November 9 at a reception in Lansing hosted by Governor John Engler.

A total of 13,888 students from 224 Michigan schools participated in the 1999 AMC 8, again ranking Michigan first in the national registration figures. National Honor Roll recognition went to 247 Michigan students, and 893 received Michigan Honor Roll certificates. Five Michigan students tied with perfect scores: Sushil Gupta, Smith Middle School, Troy; Kenneth Heafield, ACAE, Troy; Andy Jacks, Black River Public School, Holland; Kevin Jeng, Boulan Park Middle School, Troy; and Daniel Novinson, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills. The following individuals were honored as Edith May Sliffe AJHSME award winners: Kelly Schultz, ATYP Kalamazoo College and Annette Weiland, Boulan Park Middle School, Troy.

The 16th annual AMC 8 took place on November 14, 2000. Michigan's AMC 8 Directors are Kristina Hansen and Matthew Wyneken (UM-Flint). For more details, see

At the high school level, 1654 students took the AMC 10 exam, and 2676 took the AMC 12, at a total of 97 schools, on February 15. This year's Michigan winners were Ryan Timmons, Groves High School, Beverly Hills, and Jonathan Ellis, Greenhills School, Ann Arbor. The state director is David Laverell (Calvin C). See for more details.

Three college students in Michigan were honored by the Section for their performance on the 1999 Putnam Examination: Dapeng Zhu (UM-Ann Arbor), Rishi Raj (UM-Ann Arbor), and Andrew Schepler (MSU).

On another front Michigan's team of all-star high school mathematics students placed eighth in Division A and tied for 19th place in Division B of the American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) Competition. The Michigan team also took the University of Iowa site awards in Division A. A total of 102 teams of 15 students each represented various regions of the United States and Canada. The competition was held June 3 on the campuses of the University of Iowa, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Mathematics professors Robert Messer (Albion C), John Fink (Kalamazoo C), and Ruth Favro (LTU), along with William Harris, chair of the Mathematics Department at Huron High School in Ann Arbor, organized the team to represent Michigan in this national competition as a follow-up to the Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition. This is the twelfth consecutive year that Michigan has participated in the ARML Competition. The members of the Michigan All-Stars team were selected from the top 100 students out of some 14,000 who participated in the MMPC last fall.

The ARML teams competed in four rounds of mathematical problem solving. The first round required the 15 members of each team to work together for 20 minutes to solve a set of ten problems. This was followed by the Power Problem in which the team writes a full explanation of their solution to an Olympiad-level problem. After a round of eight individual problems, the competition concluded with two sets of relay questions in which the first student passes an answer to a teammate who must incorporate that value into the second problem. The second answer is then passed back to the student in the anchor position who tries to compute the final answer within the six-minute time period (or within three minutes for extra points).

The Power Question was especially challenging this year. It involved simple closed curves comprised of horizontal and vertical line segments passing through all vertices of an m by n lattice. One part of this problem asked the students to develop a recursive formula for the number of distinct curves through a 4 by n lattice. Another set of questions asked about the areas enclosed by such curves.

Support for the three practice sessions and travel to the site of the competition was provided by the Michigan Section-MAA through grants from Peter Ewing, the Charles M. Bauervic Foundation, and the MEEMIC Foundation for the Future of Education.

The coaches hope that next year the Michigan All-Stars will stack up well against the teams from San Francisco Bay and Chicago, the two teams that tied for first place this year. Visit the Web site ( for photos and additional information.

MEEMIC representative Mary Strolle presents a check to support the Michigan All-Star Mathematics Team to Bob Messer, as (left to right) Dan Frohardt (WSU), student Cheryl Cheng, and Ruth Favro (LTU) look on.

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