'Who Wants to Be a Mathematician' Makeover

A math contest for high school students, organized by the American Mathematical Society (AMS), that's always been administered on paper went digital this year with the help of Maplesoft's testing and assessment tool, Maple T.A.

The new format for the contest, "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician," saved time and money for organizer, but the biggest success came from the number of students who participated in the contest. Numbers doubled in 2013 with participation from more than 2,000 students from 150 schools.

"With the technological advancements around us, it only seemed natural that we should move our contest online," said Michael Breen, host of "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician." "In Maplesoft, we found a strong partner, who not only donated its testing platform but also contributed personnel resources to ensure the tests were customized and administered in a timely fashion. The fact that the number of contestants doubled this year is testament to the ease-of-use features that Maple T.A. provides. We are grateful to Maplesoft for helping us reignite the love of math in many students."

Teachers supervised contestants taking the online test which were instantly graded by Maple T.A. Students who scored an 80% or higher moved onto a second round that repeated the same testing process. Ten students have been chosen for the semifinals, but only two will qualify for the finals at the Joint Math Meetings in January 2014.

The contest is part of AMS's Public Awareness Program, which Maplesoft has been a sponsor of for many years. Maple T.A was made available to every student who participated in the contest, earning Maplesoft a spot at the "Technology Sponsor" level.

As part of the company's 25th celebration, the contest is just one of several year-long activities Maplesoft has supported to encourage math use amongst high school students.

"Encouraging the study of math amongst youth and young adults and providing the technology tools to aid in those studies is a mission we have chosen to highlight in Maplesoft's 25th anniversary year," said Jim Dell, Vice President, Marketing. "Among many other projects we have chosen to support, 'Who Wants to Be a Mathematician' is special because of the number of high school students involved. We are happy with the response Maple T.A. has received from the students and their teachers, and hope to build on this sponsorship in the coming years."