Fitchburg State hosts mathematics competition for area high schools
Approximately 450 students from 15 high schools across the region recently came to the Fitchburg State campus to test their numerical skills at the 32nd annual Elizabeth Haskins Mathematics Competition.
The competition confronted students with questions ranging from simple arithmetic, algebra and geometry to more sophisticated problems.
For example, what is the remainder when 2,012 to the 2,012th power is divided by 7? Is it: A) 1; B) 2; C)3; D)4; or, E)5? The correct answer is B, 2, which can be obtained by astute mathematical deductions and analysis using various properties of integers.
|Pictured, from left: Fitchburg State University faculty members Gerald Higdon and Mary Ann Barbato, and mathematics contest competitors Erik Johnson (Bromfield School) who finished first among 12th-graders, Tanner Douglas (Nashoba) who finished second among 12th-graders, James Gandek (Nashoba), who finished third among 12th-graders, Joel Sharin (Nashoba), who finished first among 11th-graders, Madeline Jenkins (Nashoba), who finished second among 11th-graders, Samuel Kirschbaum (Nashoba), who finished third among 11th-graders, and Joshua Bricknell (Nashoba), who finished first among 10th-graders, with Fitchburg State University President Robert V. Antonucci. Groton-Dunstable sophomores Bryce McLaughlin (who placed second among 10th-graders) and Stephen Pie (who placed third among 10th-graders) are not pictured.|
The contest is named for Elizabeth Haskins, a mathematics professor who retired from Fitchburg State in 1978 and passed away in 2004.
Students visiting the campus spent the start of the day with the 90-minute mathematics exam, followed by lunch. While the exams were scored, the visiting students attended mathematical presentations by Fitchburg State students Nicholas Kallfa, Emily MacArthur and Nicholas Starr, and Fitchburg State faculty member Jennifer Berg conducted a session on solutions.
Several of the teachers who brought students to the event are Fitchburg State alumni who had taken the exam during their own high school years.
The day ended with a brief awards ceremony in Weston Auditorium presided over by Mathematics Professor Gerald Higdon with remarks from Fitchburg State President Robert V. Antonucci. Honorable mention was given to all students who scored in the top 15 percent in each class, and the top three scorers from each class were given plaques.
For grade 12, first place went to Erik Johnson from the Bromfield School in Harvard; second place to Tanner Douglas from Nashoba Regional High School; and third place to James Gandek from Nashoba Regional High School.
For grade 11, first place went to Joel Sharin of Nashoba Regional High School; second place to Madeline Jenkins of Nashoba Regional High School; and third place to Samuel Kirschbaum of Nashoba Regional High School.
For grade 10, first place went to Joshua Bricknell of Nashoba Regional High School; second place to Bryce McLaughlin of Groton-Dunstable Regional High School; and third place to Stephen Pie of Groton-Dunstable Regional High School.
Visiting schools were Auburn, Bromfield, Clinton, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton-Dunstable, Lunenburg, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Narragansett Regional High School, Nashoba Regional High School, North Central Charter Essential School, North Middlesex Regional High School, Notre Dame Preparatory School, St. Bernard’s Catholic High School, and Tyngsboro.