A History of Mathematics Contests

in North Carolina Since 1970

Ralph H. Willis

Western Carolina University

During the current academic year, our department will sponsor its Thirtieth Annual High School Mathematics Contest. During academic year 1997-98, the State Mathematics Contest Committee conducted the Twentieth Annual State Mathematics Contest. With the end of this decade and the millenium near, I thought it would be appropriate to trace some of the history of the Mathematics Contest movement in North Carolina over the previous three decades.

Although there had been regional and state mathematics contests held in North Carolina prior to 1970, the following account attempts to trace the history of only those contests since that date. The contests described herein are sponsored by several of the colleges and universities, some private and/or parochial, others public, from all across the state. The major purpose of all these events has been, and still is, to stimulate an interest in the study of mathematics. The regional contests are conducted within an academic festival atmosphere and are intended to stimulate a healthful and friendly rivalry in high school studies while encouraging the participants to think of their futures beyond the high school classroom.

Some additional merits, from both a local and a geographic region standpoint, are:

1. The contests serve to stimulate more interest on the part of those students presently learning mathematics in the junior and senior high schools.

2. The contests serve to stimulate more interest on the part of those teachers presently teaching mathematics in the junior and senior high schools by having their students compete with students of many other schools of their area.

3. The contest sites serve as a meeting place at which participating teachers can exchange ideas relating to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

4. The performance of students directly, and teachers indirectly through their -students, in such contests give the individual school systems in North Carolina an indication of the comparable merits of their mathematics programs.

5. The placement of students within the contests serve as a basis on which to build an awards program within the participating schools to recognize outstanding achievement and scholarship in mathematics.

During the academic year 1970-71, Campbell College and Western Carolina University initiated regional contests drawing students from the high schools in the geographic proximity of their campuses within their respective parts of the state. Campbell's contest took the form of a comprehensive test with questions ranging across the complete high school curriculum which was, and still is, administered to primarily juniors and seniors. Occasionally, an exceptional sophomore will be entered in this contest. Each participating school is allowed to enter the same number of contestants regardless of the size of the high school. This number has usually been five. Both individual and school awards are presented to the top individuals and schools participating. Campbell's contest grew over the first decade from that of approximately 100 contestants and 14 schools in the 1971 contest to approximately 300 contestants and 62 schools in the 1980 contest. Since then, it has remained relatively stable with approximately 300 contestants competing annually.

Western Carolina University organized its contest allowing for competition in the subject divisions of the typical high school curriculum, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Comprehensive, while involving two separate school divisions, junior high and senior high. The number of contestants allowed in a particular division from any one school is based on the number of students taking that particular course at their school thereby allowing for proportional participation based upon the allowable seating capacities of the facilities where the tests are administered. 'Individual and school awards are presented to the top finishers in each category along with an appropriate number of honorable mentions to each category being named. Additionally, the top students of the Comprehensive Division who were interested in attending WCU as freshmen were presented scholarships during the early contests through 1982. Participation in this contest has ranged from approximately 425 contestants from 34 schools at the first contest to approximately 650 contestants from 50 schools during the latter part of the first decade. Since then, it, too, has remained relatively stable drawing approximately 650 contestants annually.

In 1971-72, Appalachian State University began a regional contest which consisted of two levels of testing and was restricted to comprehensive only. The first level of testing took place in the interested schools of their region by qualified students taking, on a designated day, an exam prepared and furnished by the staff at ASU. After being administered locally, the exams were returned to ASU's campus for grading after which the top fifty students were invited to ASU's campus for a second round of testing.

Individual awards were presented to the top finishers, and those top students electing, to attend ASU as freshmen were awarded substantial scholarships. This type of testing was discontinued at ASU in 1974 but would be followed by a contest having a different format as will be described later.

In 1974-75, Wingate College began a four subject division contest and also allowed for school competition in both junior and senior high divisions. Accordingly, awards were made to the top finishers in each subject division and each category of school competition with appropriate honorable mentions in each area being named. Participation in the Wingate Contest ranged from approximately 300 contestants from 30 schools in 1975 to approximately 750 contestants from 60 schools for the 1979 contest. For their 1980 contest, a restriction of three contestants per each division entered was imposed which resulted in approximately 500 contestants from 68 schools.

Following in 1975-76, Pfeiffer College began a mathematics tournament which had a slightly different format than just written testing. Along with written tests, Pfeiffer an oral testing session organized along the lines of the televised G.E. College included Bowl of a few years ago but still restricted to comprehensive materials. Pfeiffer allowed a team of four individuals from each school entering, its contest plus up to an additional four alternates depending upon the size of the school entering. Participation in the Pfeiffer tournament has been relatively stable at approximately 15 to 20 schools and 60 to 100 contestants each year.

Thus, from one regional site to another, contest format differed somewhat. Each of these early contests evolved in their particular geographic region and had little influence on each other. It must also be emphasized that each (except the Pfeiffer contest which was discontinued in 1997) remains today in an evolutionary state trying to tailor their format and scope to meet the needs of their region and comply with the majority's wishes as they move from year to year. For those contests that were comprehensive in nature, questions included in their testing, materials ranged across the complete high school mathematics curricula (excluding calculus). For those contests which used the multiple subject division format and tested in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Comprehensive, written tests of forty questions each of the multiple choice type, each with five responses, were used. Eligibility criteria required that contestants to the Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry divisions be open only to students who had been enrolled in the corresponding course for at least half of the current school year, provided that they had not had more than nine months of instruction in the subject. Their comprehensive division was open to any student taking any high school mathematics course beyond Geometry/Algebra II with students being able to compete as juniors and return again, if selected by their school, to compete again in this division as seniors.

All tests at these events are constructed locally by selected individuals within the respective college mathematics departments on whose campuses these contests/tournaments are held. The examinations are constructed to test speed as well as technical competence. The examinations are keyed as closely as possible to those textbooks presently in use by the majority of the schools in the geographic region of each test site. However, it is assumed that the contestants have acquired a familiarity with the body of mathematical topics commonly discussed in a contemporary course of the same name of the division of the contest they participate in regardless of the textbook or textbooks they may have studied. For the Comprehensive Division, questions are included which cut across the bounds of various mathematical disciplines (excluding calculus), and self-contained questions which do not fit into any of the usual categories may be included. It is also expected that the self-contained questions involving elementary concepts will not be entirely foreign to the contestant's experience.

Each host institution, as mentioned at intervals above, culminates its competition with an awards presentation at which time the various individual, school and scholarship winners are named and given proper recognition. Most individual awards take the form of a Certificate of Merit while most school awards are either plaques or trophies. Most all regional sites also make it a practice to award all contestants participating a Certificate of Participation. These are usually given to each teacher sponsor as a packet and asked that they be presented at their school's Awards Day. In addition to ASU and WCU awarding, scholarships, as noted above, Wingate and Pfeiffer have also offered scholarship assistance awards to their respective institutions for winning individuals and/or schools. That is, Pfeiffer, for example, has awarded a scholarship to some of the schools for winning its contest and left it to the discretion of the school to identify the recipient of this scholarship award commensurate with the provisions stipulated by the donating institutions.

A typical schedule on Contest Day at most regional contests consists of having the contestants and sponsors arrive and register during the time of 9:00-10:00 a.m. An initial assembly is held at 10:00 a.m. after which the contestants are sub-divided by subject division and escorted to their testing area. After a brief orientation, the tests begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. and last until 11:50 a.m. During, this period of time while the contestants are being tested, a pro-ram is presented for the faculty sponsors during which they usually break for refreshments. All groups are then escorted to lunch at 12:00 a.m. While the contestants and sponsors have lunch, the various tests are graded, winners listed, school scores determined and appropriate awards materials prepared. At approximately 1:20 p.m., all participants begin to reassemble for the Awards Program at 1:30 p.m. Most contestants and sponsors are on their way back to their school by 2:15 p.m.

In 1977, the President of the North Carolina Council of Teachers (NCCTMT) -and the Director of the Mathematics Division of the State Department of Public Instruction (SDPI) expressed an interest in conducting a mathematics contest open to all students in North Carolina. To this end, an ad hoc committee of NCCTM was formed in the summer of 1977 comprised of the contest chairmen of the four ongoing contests along with individuals from seven other regional campuses who had expressed an interest in organizing a regional contest on their campus. This committee was charged with exploring, such a venture, how it might be administered, how it might be financed, etc.

Based upon the work of this committee, a recommendation was then adopted by the NCCTM Board of Directors which set in motion the planning for a statewide contest, the details having been finalized by the ad hoc committee.

In essence, the ad hoc committee recommended that statewide competition be initiated in 1979 and that 1978 be spent assisting in organizing regional contests across the state where there were no regional contests at that time. It was also part of this recommendation that the First State Contest would feature comprehensive testing only. Thus, the committee set to work to encourage and assist with the formation of other regional contests. During the spring of 1978, Atlantic Christian College and Wayne Community College organized and administered contests featuring only comprehensive testing while Appalachian State University started testing again but with a single level testing mode- and only in comprehensive. During the same year, East Carolina University implemented a contest featuring competition in four subject divisions and two school divisions, junior and senior high school. It was not until the academic year of 1978-79

that Elon College initiated a regional contest testing only in comprehensive. Thus, during the 1978-79 academic year, there were a total of nine regional contests, one in at least each of the eight educational districts (N-C, was organized by Educational Districts at this time) with district six having two contests.

The scope of the contests organized in the latter part of the decade is indicated by the following data: East Carolina University had 61 schools sponsor approximately 850 students in 1978 when they held their first contest. In 1979, ECU had 85 schools sponsor approximately 1000 students, and, by 1980, 99 schools sponsored 1306 students in their four-division contest. In 1978, Wayne Community College had 15 schools sponsor 75 contestants (teams of 5 each); and in 1980, they had 22 schools sponsor 88 contestants (but with teams of 4 each).

Atlantic Christian College had 25 schools sponsor 157 contestants in their first contest while for their 1980 contest, 27 schools sponsored 170 contestants. Along, with individual and school awards, they also offered a full tuition scholarship to the top winner.

A.S.U. had 32 schools sponsor 267 contestants in their first contest (in the new format) while 35 schools sponsored 251 contestants in their 1980 contest. In addition to individual and school awards, A.S.U. presented a $500, a $300 and a $200 Appalachian State University scholarship to the contestants placing, first, second and third, respectively, in their contest.

In 1979 when Elon College held its first contest, they had 28 schools sponsor 180 contestants, most in teams of 4 each. For their 1980 contest, they had '30 schools sponsor 116 contestants, again with most being in teams of 4 each. Elon, like A.S.U., also awarded scholarships in the amounts of $500, $300, and $200, respectively, to the top three individual winners who planned to attend Elon College.

The first statewide contest was held during the 1978-79 academic year when the nine regional sites administered their contests, three using the multiple subject division format and testing, in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Comprehensive while the other six tested in only Comprehensive. Following the regional tests, a second level of competition was conducted among the winning comprehensive contestants when they were assembled at the Research Triangle Park on Thursday, 24 May 1979. A summary of the regional sites sending contestants to the First State Contest with Educational District, Contest Structure and Regional Chairperson listed for each is as follows:

Regional Test Site

Educational District

Structure

Regional Chairperson

East Carolina University,Greenville

One

Four Subjects, junior and senior high

John Daniels

Wayne Community College, Goldsboro

Two

Comprehensive only

Shirley Raper

Atlantic Christian College, Wilson

Three

Comprehensive only

Jerry Cooper

Campbell College, Buies Creek

Four

Comprehensive only

Jerry Taylor

Elon College, Elon

Five

Comprehensive only

Gerry Francis

Pfeiffer College, Meisenheimer

Six

Comprehensive only

Harold Williford

Wingate College, Wingate

Six

Four Subjects, junior and senior high

Cliff Adams

Appalachian State Univ., Boone

Seven

Comprehensive only

Bill Paul

Western Carolina Univ., Cullowhee

Eight

Four Subjects, junior and senior high

Ralph Willis

 

The second round of testing was planned and has evolved in such a way as to leave all regional sites as free as possible to determine the rules and regulations regarding their organization commensurate with the constraints placed on them by staff, facilities, contest format, etc. Thus, the contest rules for the second round of testing for the comprehensive group were kept to a minimum, namely: (1) any school may enter mutually exclusive groups of contestants in at most two regional contests, (2) five percent of the comprehensive contestants, not to exceed ten, from each regional site may compete at the State Contest, and (3) a student becomes eligible for the State Contest by first competing at a regional contest thereby meeting the eligibility requirements of that particular regional contest. Using these rules, sixty-seven students came to be named as regional winners at the regional sites and assembled on 24 May 1979, at the Research Triangle Park for the First State Contest.

The State Contest followed the format of testing used at the majority of the regional sites, namely that of a forty-question, multiple-choice test with designated schemes for tie-breaking with 40 items to the test, 80 minutes were allowed for its completion. The top five finishers were awarded plaques and Certificates of Merit while those placing sixth through tenth were awarded only Certificates of Merit. Those contestants placing eleventh through twentieth were declared honorable mentions and were also awarded Certificates of Merit. All participants to the contest were awarded Certificates of Participation. Twenty-eight of the colleges and universities across the state had also agreed to reserve a tuition-free scholarship at their institution should any one of the top five contestants decide to enroll at that particular institution. Due to previous commitments and scholarships received, only two of the contestants took advantage of this offer.

Following the First State Contest, two more regional contests were established during year 1979-80, those at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC-C) and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNC-W). Both of these regional sites tested initially in comprehensive only. UNC-C had 84 contestants from 16 schools in their first contest and, in addition to individual and school awards, presented their top senior with a full tuition scholarship to UNC-C.

UNC-W also had 16 schools in their first contest and organized competition so as to allow for both individual and team winners. The number of students making up a team varied depending on the size of the school represented. This necessitated dropping, some scores of the students in the larger teams when team scores were computed.

The following table summarizes Contest Structure, Educational District and Regional Chairperson for the two regional contests initiated during, 1979-80:

Regional Test Site

Educational District

Structure

Chairperson

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Two

Comprehensive only

Richard Burkhart

University of North at Charlotte

Six

Comprehensive only

Harold Reiter

Thus, when the Second Annual State Mathematics Contest was held at the Research Triangle on Thursday, 22 May 1980, 90 contestants from the eleven regional sites competed. The rules for this second contest were altered slightly given that the committee had the experience from the first contest to rely upon in planning the second contest. That is, the committee decided: (1) to allow any high school to participate in as many regional contests as it desired but with mutually exclusive groups of contestants; and (2) that each regional site would send the top 5% of its comprehensive contestants on to the State Contest without any maximum imposed. Thus, with these alterations in the rules and with the addition of the two regional sites named, we gained 23 contestants over what had participated in the first contest.

The format to the Second Annual State Contest was almost identical to the first. Testing was accomplished in the same manner except for a more complex arrangement for breaking ties. The awards were made in the same manner, also, except that precaution had been- taken to insure that any contestant placing in the top twenty could choose, in the order of placement, from among the scholarships offered by the colleges and universities of the state. Again, due to previous plans and commitments, only three of the scholarships were accepted from the twenty-three institutions offering them. As to the facilities used in the Research Triangle Park, the Contest Committee was fortunate to have the cooperation and gracious assistance of Burroughs Wellcome, Inc., IBM, the Environmental Research Center and the U.S. Army Research Center.

They gave each group their "red carpet" treatment, and the Contest Committee was very appreciative of their efforts and support.

Following the Second State Contest, a team made up of the top finishers went on to compete in the Annual Atlantic Region Mathematics League Competition held at Rutgers University, 7 June 1980. That. is, the top fifteen students who could make this trip, plus one alternate chosen from the top twenty finishers to the state comprehensive test, were selected to make this trip. The competition at Rutgers University involved 37 teams from 16 states and the District of Columbia, each team being, comprised of 15 students and one alternate. The competition at this League Meet took place in two divisions: Division A, made up of teams which had been involved in the competition before and had demonstrated excellence; and, Division B, made up of teams new to the competition or which had not previously experienced the degree of success as teams in Division A. Test materials for both divisions were the same, however. The North Carolina team was placed in Division B by virtue of its being entered in the contest for the first time.

This event is structured differently than any of the regional contests in our state including the State Comprehensive Contest in that the Rutgers' competition consists of a daylong series of various mathematics competitions including power questions, short answer questions, problems with brief solutions and team relay questions. Each team's score was determined by its overall performance on these various exercises. It is significant that the North Carolina team placed second in its division and 13th in the overall competition given that this format of competition was completely foreign to the contestants' experiences and with their having been drawn from various schools across North Carolina not having had previous experience competing together as a team as the Rutgers Meet required.

To facilitate planning for each state contest and to coordinate somewhat the various regional contests, the Contest Committee of that era consisted of the eleven regional chairmen augmented with three additional interested individuals, one representing the Mathematics Curriculum Supervisors, the other two coming from regional sites where multiple subject division testing was done. Additionally, the chairman of the Mathematics Division to SDPI -and the President of NCCTM were members to this committee. In planning and carrying out the various tasks to support both the state and regional competition, the State Contest Committee was organized into the following sub-committees, each being responsible for those tasks the sub-committee name implies and reporting to the Chairman of the State Contest Committee: Publicity; Program/Site Arrangements; Awards/Fund Solicitations; Test Construction; Evaluation/Rules; and Additional Site Development. This arrangement proved very beneficial having the necessary depth and flexibility to accommodate the committee members while accomplishing, the necessary tasks. The Committee met a minimum of three times annually, once in conjunction with the Annual State NCCTM Conference in the fall, once in mid-March to finalize arrangements for the upcoming state competition and again the afternoon and evening prior to the State Contest to finalize last minute coordinating details while beginning, to plan for the following year's contest.

As we moved into the decade of the eighties, the task at hand was to comply with an ever increasing number of requests to establish more competitions in divisions other than just comprehensive so that any student in the state would have access to a competition corresponding to the level of mathematics being studied. This was accomplished by a combination of moves, among them being: adding additional subject divisions to some of the present regional sites who then tested in only comprehensive; initiating, new sites that would test in these other subjects as well as comprehensive; and, initiating new sites that would be supplementary/complementary to the present regional site of particular educational districts where the need for additional subject divisions was most apparent. Some existing sites, either due to restrictions of staff or facilities, explored offering a split schedule, i.e., comprehensive testing on one date with one or more other subject divisions on other dates. Other sites explored cutting back the number of comprehensive contestants being brought to their site, as other sites were established, thereby making room for one or more additional subject divisions.

To address the task of expansion more specifically, there was formed an Executive/Steering Committee to the State Contest Committee which considered various organizational schemes which would accommodate competition in subject divisions other than comprehensive. On the one hand, much sentiment was expressed towards leaving the State Comprehensive Contest at the Research Triangle Park unchanged as other subject division competition was established, since it represented culminating competition to the various testing throughout the year and came to be regarded as the pinnacle of achievement. On the other hand, many teachers and students voiced requests that more regional sites be established so that any school would be within convenient traveling distance of a regional contest and that site have many, if not all, subject division tests. Furthermore, these requests included a call for competition in these other subject divisions beyond the local site level.

By 1980, UNC-Charlotte, Wingate and Western Carolina were offering four-subject division type contests while ASU had implemented an Algebra I division to supplement its comprehensive division. With the leadership of the Western Region NCCTM working in conjunction with the chairpersons of the aforenamed contests, an ad hoc committee was formed and charged with setting up what came to be called a Regional Run-off site. A second charge to this ad hoc committee was to recruit another test site for the Seventh Educational District to test in Geometry and Algebra II so that Regional Run-off testing could follow in these subjects. Thus, in 1981-82, Lenoir Rhyne College offered the first Regional Run-off in Algebra I. The following year, the State Contest Committee recruited Regional Run-off sites for the eastern and central regions testing in only Algebra 1, those sites being at Beaufort Community College and Fayetteville State University, respectively. During, this same year, 1982-83, Lenoir Rhyne College, the Western Regional Run-off site, implemented run-off competition in Geometry and added run-off competition in Algebra II in 1983-84. A summary of the 1982-83 local, regional and state test sites follows:

1982-83 Local, Regional and State Test Sites

 

Local Test Site

Ed Dist

Structure

Site Chairperson

Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City

I

Alg. 1, Alg. 11 & Comp.

Linda Hayden

East Carolina University, Greenville

I

Four subjects, Jr. & Sr. High

John Daniels

University of North Carolina, Wilmington

II

Ala. 1, Alg. II, Geom., Trig. & Comp.

Tommy Brown

Wayne Community College, Goldsboro

II

Alg. I & Comp.

Al Strohm

Atlantic Christian College, Wilson

III

Comp. only

Jerry Cooper

Campbell University, Buies Creek

IV

Comp. only

Jerry Taylor

Pembroke State University, Pembroke

IV

Alg. I & Alg. 11

Gilbert Sampson

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

V

Alg- I only

Hunter Ballew

Elon College, Elon College

V

Comp. only

Gerry Francis

Pfeiffer College, Misenheimer

VI

Comp. only

Harold Williford

University of North Carolina, Charlotte

VI

Four subjects, Jr. & Sr. High

Joe Schell

Wingate College, Wingate

VI

Four subjects, Jr. & Sr. High

Cliff Adams

Appalachian State University, Boone

VII

Alg. I & Comp.

Theresa Early

Western Carolina University, Cullowhee

VIII

Four subjects, Jr. & Sr. High

Ralph Willis

NC School of Science & Math, Durham

All

Comp. only

Dorothy Doyle

 

NCCTM

 

 

Regional Test Site

Region

Structure

Site Chairperson

Beaufort Community College, Washington

Eastern

Alg. I run-off

Hugh Barnett

Fayetteville State Univ., Fayetteville

Central

Alg. I run-off

Leo Edwards

Lenoir Rhyne College, Hickory

Western

Alg. I & Geom.

Virginia Hawn

State Test Site

 

Structure

Site Chairperson

N.C. State Mathematics Contest, Raleigh

 

Comp. only

Robert Jones

 

During the mid-1980's, several other local sites were recruited to offer testing in Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry so as to afford all schools across the state an opportunity to enter contestants in any subject of their choosing and this local site competition would be within convenient driving distance of their school. At the same time, the Regional Run-off sites in the Eastern and Central Regions also added Run-off testing in Algebra II and Geometry.

During the mid- to late-1980's as the three Regional Run-off Sites stabilized, the State Contest Committee assumed over-sight responsibility for coordinating run-off competition. In an effort to standardize procedures and minimize the workload on the part of these college and university faculties doing this work, the State Committee standardized both tests and date for the Regional Run-off Sites. A formula for determining the number of contestants each local site could send to the Regional Run-off sites was also adopted. Thus, by the end of this decade, the contest structure as it exists today was pretty much in place.

During the 1990's, two or three sites have discontinued testing while another two or three have joined the Contest Network. In some instances, existing sites have implemented testing in additional subjects while one or two dropped testing in one or two subjects. The State Contest Committee has adjusted its policy with regard to calculator usage, permissible contestants, entrance requirements, etc., all in response to changing demographics, technology, mission and the needs and desires of the mathematical community being served.

Today, the State Network of Mathematics Contest consists of eighteen local sites offering various combinations of testing in the subjects of Algebra 1, Algebra H, Geometry and Comprehensive, three regional run-off sites (now called the State Finals Competition in Algebra 1, Algebra II and Geometry ) and the State Mathematics Contest site (now called the State Finals Competition in Comprehensive). It is estimated that approximately ten thousand students competed at some level in the 1998-99 competitions.

In addition to all the work that takes place on the individual college and university campuses that sponsor a local site or run-off contest, the State Contest Committee draws upon these site chairpersons along with other individuals from across the state to accomplish its oversight duties. Today, the Executive/Steering Committee of the State Mathematics Contest Committee consists of three elected regional representatives (elected at large by the State Committee), the State NCCTM President, an appointed chair, a representative from SDPI, the regional run-offs coordinator, the state run-offs coordinator and the test construction coordinator. The State Mathematics Contest Committee itself, consists of the chairpersons of all the local site, regional run-off and state run-off contests, the SDPI representative, a classroom teacher appointed from each NCCTM region, the test construction coordinator and the NCCTM President (or their designated representative). All work in concert under the leadership of the committee chair and the State NCCTM President in an effort to accomplish the objectives and mission as stated formally for the committee in its By-Laws and Constitution.

Thus, the Mathematics Contest Movement in North Carolina has come a long way during the last thirty years. I believe that our plans have been deliberate and our logic sound as we have structured a network to meet the needs and desires being voiced. We now find ourselves on the threshold of much greater success in this venture than any of us realized possible in those early years. The challenge is ours and I, for one, believe that our organization has the foundation and energy to continue to achieve for the students, teachers and school administrators of the state everything that they have called for. As we reach out and continue to experience success with these evolving competitions, there is an implied reciprocal arrangement being made with the constituents of this state that they will utilize whatever evolves to its fullest thereby enhancing the study and learning of mathematics to its fullest and bringing to those of us on the committee, and those supporting teachers from all across the state, some measure of reward for our efforts. But the greatest benefit to all this, in my opinion, is the number of individual contestant experiences created at the local sites and the stimulus and motivation which each provides, not the number of contestants being declared winners to the various competitions at the different levels. Thus, I conclude by asking that we, and anyone else who may get involved in this venture, strive to keep competition in the study and learning of mathematics in proper perspective.