What is the MATH Challenge?
The Michigan Autumn Take Home Challenge is a team-oriented math competition for undergraduates. Teams of 2 or 3 students take a 3-hour exam consisting of 10 interesting problems dealing with topics and concepts found in the undergraduate mathematics curriculum. Each team takes the exam on their home campus under the supervision of a faculty advisor.
When is the MATH Challenge?
The MATH Challenge always occurs on a Saturday close to the midpoint of autumn. This year's competition will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2011. The exam begins at 9:30 a.m. (EST) and ends at 12:30 p.m.
How is the exam administered?
A few days before the competition, the author/grader of the exam will send one large envelope to each faculty advisor of the participating schools. That envelope will contain a packet (containing the exam questions) for each team as well as single copy of the solutions. On the day of the competition, each team is provided a room to work on the exam for the 3-hour period beginning at 9:30 a.m. (EST). At 12:30 p.m., after all teams have submitted their solutions, the faculty advisor will distribute copies of the author's solutions to each team member. On the following Monday, the faculty advisor will send the teams' solutions to the author/grader.
When do the teams receive the results of the competition?
It usually takes 2 to 3 weeks for the author to finish grading all of the exams. However, during that 2-3 period, the author will provide partial scores via e-mail. In that way, teams can get some sense of how well they are doing.
Who organized the MATH Challenge?
In the spring of 1994, professors Mark Bollman (of Olivet College) and Timothy Sipka (of Alma College) felt the need to create a team-oriented math competition for undergraduates. That summer, with the help of Leo Schneider (of John Carroll University), the details of the competition were finalized. On November 5, 1994, 22 teams from 8 different schools participated in the first MATH Challenge.
What schools have participated in the MATH Challenge?
The MATH Challenge has attracted teams from both small and large institutions. And, although the competition is called the Michigan Autumn Take Home Challenge, it is not limited to schools in Michigan. Schools that have participated in the past include: Adrian College, Albion College, Alma College, Aquinas College, Belmont University (TN), Bethel College (IN), Calvin College, Central Michigan University, Connecticut College, Earlham College (IN), Eastern Illinois University, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Hillsdale College, Hope College, Illinois College, John Carroll University (OH), Kalamazoo College, Lake Superior State University, Lawrence Technological University, Manchester College (IN), McDaniel College, Merrimack College (MA), Michigan Technological University, Millsaps College (MS), Mississippi University for Women, Northern Michigan University, Northwest Missouri State University, Olivet College, Saginaw Valley State University, Spring Arbor University, St. Mary's College (IN), St. Norbert College (WI), Taylor University (IN), Trine University (IN), United States Military Academy (NY), University of Detroit Mercy, University of Michigan - Dearborn, University of Michigan - Flint, and Wheaton College (IL).
The following table provides the numbers of schools and teams that have participated in the previous MATH Challenge competitions. In 2008, the MATH Challenge along with its organizer took a sabbatical leave.
Year 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 # of Teams 22 32 40 37 27 30 21 32 46 50 44 53 63 64 54 66 # of Schools 8 12 13 11 12 11 10 12 16 16 16 21 23 22 20 28
How have teams done on the exam?
The MATH Challenge exam is always a 100-point exam. The following table provides a brief summary of the scores from the past exams.
Year 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 High Score 75 60 94 54 56 52 93 84 90 85 77 86 61 63 78 89 Median Score 36.5 15.5 50 26 26 11 43 44 58.5 23.5 46 32 13 22.5 29.5 20 Low Score 7 4 23 3 7 2 18 7 20 2 6 4 0 0 0 0