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There are buzzers, eliminations, and fierce competition. But there is no football, and certainly no calculators, in this bowl.

The UT–Pro2Serve Math Contest, hosted by UT will award ten lucky and bright students $4,000 annual scholarships to UT.

In its fifteenth year, the contest allows Tennessee high school students—public, private and home-schooled—to compete for awards and honors based on their mathematics skills. Students will compete on Thursday, November 14, on the UT campus.

Early registration for the competition has already begun and ends October 4. The cost is $10 per student. General registration is open through October 30 and is $15 per student. Participants must register before the event, and all fees must be received by November 1.

“The Pro2Serve Math Contest is important to fostering students’ interest in mathematics and encouraging them to pursue careers and education in science, mathematics, engineering, finance, and other fields,” said Conrad Plaut, mathematics department head. “The contest is also an opportunity to showcase UT and increase the likelihood that these talented students will attend the university.”

The contest has two parts. The first is the two-stage FERMAT. All participants take a multiple-choice test on algebra and geometry, called the Fundamental Exams of Remarkable Mathematical Ability and Talent (FERMAT I). The top fifty students move on to the next level of testing, called FERMAT II. This test has eight essay questions, requiring creative and original thinking. The ten students with the highest scores will each receive an annual $4,000 scholarship for four years of undergraduate study at UT Knoxville. FERMAT II exams are hand-graded by faculty members from UT’s Department of Mathematics.

The second part of the contest is the Math Bowl. A three-member team from each high school faces an opposing high school team in a double-elimination tournament in the style of the old GE College Bowl competitions. Sixty-four high school teams compete head-to-head to be the fastest to correctly answer ten math questions.

The championship round will be held from 3:30-3:50 p.m.

A full schedule is available online.

The contest is presented by the College of Arts and Sciences Mathematics Department and UT alumnus Barry Goss and his company, Professional Project Services Inc. (Pro2Serve).

“It is so important to continue to feed these students’ talent so they can go on and make positive contributions to Tennessee’s future,” Goss said. “Our goal is to have the brightest math minds in Tennessee high schools to further their education in Tennessee, hopefully at UT, and remain here after graduation to live and work.”

Pro2Serve provides technical and engineering services that support the infrastructures of government and private industry and help ensure our nation’s security. The media sponsor is the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Scholarships are funded by UT and Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek.

To register, visit www.math.utk.edu/MathContest or call 865-974-2461.


Whitney Heins (865-974-5460, wheins@utk.edu)

Bryan Self (865-974-2461, cself1@tennessee.edu)