# High school students compete in Haskins Mathematics Competition

Three hundred students from 13 area high schools recently visited the Fitchburg State University campus to take part in the 39^{th} annual Elizabeth Haskins mathematics competition.

Students tested their skills in a challenging exam and attended sessions exploring different facets of the discipline with university faculty and students.

The highest score logged at the competition was by competition newcomer Nicholas Thornton, a 10^{th} grader at the Bromfield School in Harvard.

First, second and third-place winners were selected in each grade. For grade 10, Thornton came in first; Maxwell Strazdus came in second; and Vivian Liu came in third. All attend the Bromfield School.

For grade 11, Elizabeth Toll of the Bromfield School came in first; Kirsten Sjoberg of Groton-Dunstable Regional High School came in second; and Nathan Haberle of Nashoba Regional High School came in third.

For grade 12, Dylan Han of Groton-Dunstable came in first; Benjamin Strazdus of the Bromfield School came in second; and Kevin Yu, also of Bromfield, came in third.

Here are two sample problems from the contest:

How many ways can the letters in “mathematics” be rearranged to a unique word (sequence of letters)?

- 11!
- 8!
- 11!/8
- 11!/8!
- 8!/8

The correct answer is (c); the symbol 8! means 8 times 7 times 6 times 5 times 4 times 3 times 2 times 1. For example, 4! means 4 times 3 times 2 times 1 or 24.

Here is another sample problem: How many ordered pairs of positive integers satisfy the equation 20 x + 19 y = 2019?

- 2
- 4
- 6
- 8
- 10

The correct answer is (c).

Participating schools in this year’s contest were Auburn, Bromfield, Clinton, Fitchburg, Groton-Dunstable, Gardner, Hudson, Leominster, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Narragansett, Nashoba, Worcester North, and Sizer.

The contest is named for Elizabeth Haskins, a Fitchburg State mathematics professor who retired in 1978 and passed away in 2004.