Contest News

Michigan participation in the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) continues to grow. Over 20,000 Michigan students participated in the American Junior High School and High School Mathematics Examinations (AJHSME and AHSME). The Michigan AMC winners were honored on September 28 at a reception in Lansing hosted by Governor John Engler.

A total of 14,504 students from 223 Michigan schools participated in the 1998-99 AJHSME, again ranking Michigan first in the national registration figures. National Honor Roll recognition went to 193 Michigan students, and 1032 received Michigan Honor Roll certificates. Three Michigan students tied with perfect scores: Timothy Bently, Carleton Middle School, Sterling Heights; Anant Gupta, Smith 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: Paul Eenigenburg, ATYP Kalamazoo College; Robert Hage, Boulan Park Middle School, Troy; Keith Birdsall, Center for the Arts and Sciences, Saginaw; and Stephan Hatt, Smith Middle School, Troy.

The 15th annual AJHSME, now known as the AMCAE8, took place on November 16, 1999. Michigan's AMCAE8 Directors are Kristina Hansen and Matthew Wyneken (UM-Flint); for more details on this contest, see

A total of 5540 students from 104 Michigan schools participated in the 1998-99 AHSME. This year's Michigan winner was Ryan Fallon-Timmons, Groves High School, Beverly Hills. School Honor Roll distinction went to Wylie E. Groves High School, Troy High School, Detroit Country Day School, Herbert Henry Dow High School, Livonia Mathematics/Science Center, and Okemos High School. National Distinguished Honor Roll status was earned by 71 Michigan students, and 71 others achieved the National Honor Roll.

The AMC has added a new contest for students in grades 10 and below, the AMCAE10. The 51st annual high school event, now known as the AMCAE10 and AMCAE12 and with a slightly different format, is scheduled for February 15. Michigan's AMCAE10/12 Director is David Laverell (Calvin C). See for more details.

Six college students in Michigan were honored by the Section for their performance on the 1998 Putnam Examination. All attend UM-Ann Arbor, except as noted. The top Michigan scorer was Chetan Balwe; he was followed by Kurt Steinkraus and then (in alphabetical order) Michael Clinesmith (MSU), Christopher Lahey, Joshua Metzler (Hope C), and Dapeng Zhu.

On another front Michigan's team of all-star high school mathematics students placed ninth in Division A and twelfth and 63rd in Division B of the American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) Competition. The Michigan team took the University of Iowa site awards in both Division A and Division B. A total of 112 teams of 15 students each represented various regions of the United States and Canada. The competition was held June 5, 1999 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 eleventh 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 approximately 15,000 who participated in the Michigan competition 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).

One of the simpler questions noted that the sum of the digits in the year 1999 is 28. The participants were to determine the next year for which the sum of the digits will again be 28.

Support for the three practice sessions and travel to the site of the competition was provided by the Michigan Section-MAA through a grant from the Matilda Wilson Foundation, with additional funding from the Charles M. Bauervic Foundation.

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

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