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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI’s Calc-Bowl adds up for students

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KINGSTON, R.I. – April 30, 2007 – The University of Rhode Island Department of Mathematics sponsored its first URI Calc-Bowl, welcoming 14 teams of talented high school and college students who competed against other students in pre-calculus and calculus.

The lively, mathematical contest among teams of five players in the format of a game show took place earlier this month. The teams competed in several rounds of play before a final playoff.

The team, Zorn’s Lemon, took first place in the competition. Its members, Elizabeth Kemp, LaSalle Academy ‘07; Mike Axiak, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 09; Daniel Valmas, Shea High School ’07; and Kian Shenfield, Rhode Island College ’09; each took home a $100 gift certificate to URI’s bookstore.

Second place went to the North Kingstown High team, the Douganators, named after coach Karen Dougan. Team members, Mike Marshall, Kelly Huang, Raena Morley, Kelsey Wiggin, and Bill Settes-Rundlett, took home $50 gift certificates to URI’s bookstore.

URI’s Math Department hosted the event to highlight mathematics, recruit top students to URI, and recognize and reward talented mathematics students in Rhode Island. James Baglama, Lubos Thoma, and Li Wu, all URI math professors, organized the event to “share the power and intrigue of mathematics with a large audience.”

Judging from an e-mail from URI ocean engineering student Joe Hanna sent to Baglama just after the event, the professors reached some of the goals immediately.

“I just wanted to thank you and the rest of the math professors for holding Calc- Bowl. All too often as a student, I feel that teachers sometimes care more about their research rather than the well-being of their students,” Hanna wrote. “I was glad to see teachers laughing and having a good time with students. I hope you continue the Calc-Bowl in the future. Who knew math could be fun?”

The team, Zorn’s Lemon, took first place in the University of Rhode Island’s Calc-Bowl competition. Its members (l-r), Elizabeth Kemp, LaSalle Academy ‘07; Mike Axiak, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 09; Daniel Valmas, Shea High School ’07; and Kian Shenfield, Rhode Island College ’09; each took home a $100 gift certificate to URI’s bookstore. URI News Bureau photo by Michael Salerno.