In the past 24 years, more than 20,000 students have participated in UNL Math Day. Another 1,600 are registered for the 25th Math Day on Nov. 20 in the Nebraska Union.
Hosted by the UNL Department of Mathematics, Math Day is a highly competitive event that recognizes high school students who are interested in mathematics. About 100 schools from across Nebraska attend each year, bringing anywhere from three students to the 150 students who will represent Lincoln Southeast in 2014.
“Math Day is a unique experience for both the competitors and the coaches,” said Bill Rogge, a UNL lecturer in mathematics who was once the Math Day coach at Lincoln Northeast. “As a coach, I relished the hours of practice our students put in to be competitive. Now I have the privilege of being a moderator for the Math Bowl. I love seeing and feeling the tension that each question brings.”
The overall schedule for Math Day has remained the same since it began: opening ceremony, then the “PROBE I,” or Problems Requiring Original and Brilliant Effort, exam, then the start of the Math Bowl before lunch, then “PROBE II” and finally department displays after lunch. It takes more than 250 volunteers to keep the events of Math Day running.
Math Day consists of both individual and team competitions. All students participate in a multiple-choice, preliminary exam called “PROBE I.” The top 40 students then move on to take the famous essay exam “PROBE II.” The PROBE top 10 Nebraska high school students, with the sum of “PROBE I” and “PROBE II,” are awarded a total of $34,000 in four-year scholarships to UNL. One hundred teams also compete in the Math Bowl, a double-elimination tournament pitting three-member teams against one another.
Volunteers are still needed for this year. Those interested in coming to help should contact email@example.com.
For more information, go to http://www.math.unl.edu/programs/mathday.