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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 on Thursday, November 6, will award ten bright students each a $6,000 annual scholarship to UT.

In its sixteenth year, the contest allows Tennessee high school students—public, private, and home-schooled—to compete for awards and honors based on their math skills.

“The UT-Pro2Serve Math Contest is one of the most important outreach activities at UT. The contest serves to increase student interest in mathematics and STEM fields in general,” said Conrad Plaut, head of the mathematics department. “The contest has been supported for fourteen years by Pro2Serve, which provides essential funding to help students travel to the contest. Without this support, the contest would not have such a significant statewide reach.”

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. Faculty grade the FERMAT II exams.

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 first to correctly answer ten math questions.

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

A full schedule can be found at the math contest website.

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

“It is important to continue to feed these students’ talents so they can make positive contributions to Tennessee’s future,” Goss said. “Our goal is to attract the brightest math minds in Tennessee high schools to the University of Tennessee so that hopefully they will remain in our state long after graduation.”

Pro2Serve is a nationally recognized technical and engineering services firm dedicated to providing critical infrastructure engineering services in support of our Nation’s security. The media sponsor is the Knoxville News Sentinel.

For more information, visit the contest website or call 865-974-2461.