Math stars compete for money

By Bethany Narvaez/ nw news editor

Students take a workshop to help prepare them for the Jim Bolen Math Competition Feb. 24. They study previous tests in the workshops.
Peter Matthews/The Collegian

Students across TCC campuses are sharpening their math skills to prepare for round two of the Jim Bolen Math Competition Feb. 24.

The competition, sponsored by the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, is open to students who have under 20 credit hours and do not hold any two- or four-year degrees.

Former NE faculty member Jim Bolen brought the math competition to TCC and helped it grow into what it is today, NE math assistant professor Cathryn Miller said.

“The competition consists of two tests,” SE Campus math assistant professor Carol White said. “One is taken in the fall and one in the spring.”

Students are not required to participate in both rounds of the competition, but taking both tests raises the potential for winning scholarship awards, White said.

If students compete in both rounds, the two scores are combined to determine a final average.

Participants who get high scores may be eligible for scholarships from TCC and four-year universities such as Texas Wesleyan University, Dallas Baptist University, Texas Woman’s University and Texas Christian University. Scholarships are granted to students who plan to major in math.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to win prize money for school,” Miller said. “The scholarships are meant to encourage students to engage in mathematics and engineering.”

Thomas Kinzeler

Miller encourages all eligible students to participate, not just those currently in a math class.

“The competition has more creative problem-solving that requires students to think outside the box,” she said. “If students come to the workshops first, they see the test is not all about calculators.”

Workshops are held prior to the competition to help students prepare for the 20-question, multiple-choice, timed test.

“There’s no way to really study for the test, but students can look at old competition tests and see what kind of problems are asked,” White said.

Preparation workshops are held every Friday afternoon in February in NTAB 2114 leading up to the event.

Though Miller and White encourage students to attend the workshops before the competition, it is not mandatory. Participants may sign up to take the test the morning of the event.


Find out more

Contact Cathryn Miller at 817-515-6072 or Carol White at 817-515-3627 for more information about the Jim Bolen Math Competition.