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Taylor Math Students Achieve High Finishes in Competitions

By Lindsay Robinson Published: Jan 17, 2014

Students from Taylor University’s Mathematics Department performed well in regional math competitions, gaining top spots in the annual Michigan Autumn Take Home (MATH) Challenge and the Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest. 

Five teams from Taylor, comprised of 15 students, achieved high finishes in the MATH Challenge, finishing 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 27th, and 41st. It was the sixth time in the past eight contests in which Taylor has had a team place in the top-three.

The results were as follows: 

1. Illinois Wesleyan University

2. Taylor University  [Ethan Gegner, Daniel Crane, and Josh Kiers]

3. Taylor University  [Claire Spychalla, Joe Kasper, and Todd Fenstermacher]

4. Connecticut College        

5. Kalamazoo College 

6. Calvin College

7. Taylor University   [Justin Wydra, Jordan Melendez, and Sam Judge]

8. McDaniel College    

9. Kalamazoo College  

10. tie: Central Michigan University, Madonna University, and Calvin College

Other competitors include: Alma College, Anderson University, Aquinas College, Concordia University, Earlham College, Ferris State University, Hope College, Illinois College, Lawrence Tech, Macomb Community College, Manchester University, Merrimack College, Northern Michigan University, Northwest Missouri University, St. Mary’s College, and Saginaw Valley State University.

The exam, taken under the supervision of a faculty member on the participant’s campus, consists of 2-3 member teams working on challenging math problems for an allotted three hours. 

In the Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest, Taylor’s students scored better than 66% of all other exam participants. This year, the two-and-one-half hour exam was given to participants at their home campus and hosted a total of 726 participants from 107 institutions. 

“We’ve got great students; very talented, very mathematically astute” said Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Philip Mummert. “The main thing I take away from these contests is we don’t just have one or two really bright students who are kind of involved in this, but we have quite a few and a lot of depth to our team. I think it really shows we have good students but also that we are preparing them well.”