Students Ahead of the Curve in Regional Mathematics Competition
Tung Nguyen, Class of 2015
Anh Dao, Class of 2015
Duc Nguyen, Class of 2017
Jan. 15, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— A team of three Illinois Wesleyan students—Tung Nguyen ’15, Anh
Dao ’15, Duc Nguyen ’17— placed first out of 60 teams in the 19th Annual Michigan
Autumn Take Home (MATH) Challenge. The team-oriented, regional competition took place
on Saturday, November 2, with winners being announced in late December.
The three-hour test was comprised of 10 questions covering a variety of topics and
concepts found in undergraduate mathematics curriculum. IWU’s team, which was coached
by Theodore Rice, visiting professor of mathematics, and Andrew Shallue, assistant
professor of mathematics, earned a score of 80 out of a possible 100.
“What impresses me most is that the team got full credit on all questions for which
they submitted an answer,” said Shallue. “That shows an excellent awareness of how
to write a solid mathematical argument.”
IWU was followed by two teams from Taylor University, with scores of 78 and 76. Teams
from Connecticut College, Kalamazoo College and Calvin College rounded out the top
“As someone who enjoyed mathematics contests as a student, I enjoyed mentoring these
students a great deal,” said Rice. “I am proud of their accomplishment and I hope
they defend their first place finish next year.”
Professors Mark Bollman, then of Olivet College in Michigan, and Timothy Sipka of
Alma College in Michigan first organized the MATH Challenge in the spring of 1994.
The first challenge, which consisted of 22 teams from eight schools, was held in November
of 1994. The test has been held annually ever since.
For additional information, contact Sherry Wallace, director for news and media relations,
at (309) 556-3792.
Contact: Tia Patsavas ’16 (309) 556-3181, firstname.lastname@example.org