Math teams excel in competitions

Two Washington University teams took first and second place in the Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition, sponsored each spring by the Missouri section of the Mathematical Association of America, according to Ronald C. Freiwald, Ph.D., professor of mathematics in Arts & Sciences.

This year’s competition was held April 17-18 on the campus of Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. The competition consists of two parts, each posing five problems and running for two and a half hours. This year, 36 teams from 15 colleges and universities across the state participated.

The first-place team consisted of senior Igor Konfisakhar and juniors Alon Brodie and Huajia Wang. The second-place team consisted of senior Justin Gilmer and juniors Alex Cloninger and Jeremy Diepenbrock.

Earlier this year, a WUSTL math team participated in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition held Dec. 1, 2007.

This North American competition was a six-hour exam comprising 12 math problems. Students take the exam at WUSTL as individuals, but three of the students are designated as the school’s “team.” The team score is the sum of their individual scores. This year 3,753 students participated in the competition, and 413 teams from across the United States and Canada competed.

The WUSTL team, consisting of senior Eric Wofsey and juniors Diepenbrock and Wang, ranked 12th.

Participants were assigned individual ranks. Wofsey placed in the top 100 out of about 3,500 contestants. In addition, WUSTL had one additional student in the top 200; one in the top 300; one in the top 400 and nine additional students at various levels among the top 1,000.