College of Science

Dallas magnet school wins title at 13th UTA Calculus Bowl

The contest went down to the wire but in the end, the newcomer edged out the three-time defending champion at the 13th annual UT Arlington Calculus Bowl.

The School of Science and Engineering Magnet (SEM), a college preparatory public high school in Dallas, topped Flower Mound High School, which was trying for its fourth consecutive title at the annual fast-paced competition. SEM correctly answered the final question of the final round to narrowly edge Flower Mound, 24 points to 22. Mansfield Timberview High School took third place with 19 points.

SEM - which is comprised of 400 students selected from the general Dallas ISD student population based on achievements and interest -- was competing in the Calculus Bowl for the first time. Flower Mound High School was entered in the event for the sixth time and previously came away with the first-place trophy in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

In all, a record 23 high schools from around the Dallas-Fort Worth area competed in the event, held March 1 in Pickard Hall. Over 150 students, along with teachers serving as team coaches and other supporters, attended this year's contest. The Calculus Bowl tests students' knowledge of calculus and pre-calculus with teams vying to be the first to correctly answer each of a series of multiple choice questions to earn points. The team with the most points in each of the preliminary rounds advanced to the final round, with 12 of the 23 teams earning spots in the finals.

"The event was great fun for all the participants and it just seems to get bigger and better every year," said Hristo Kojouharov, professor of mathematics and the creator and coordinator of the Calculus Bowl. "Getting students excited about mathematics is what this event is all about, and it's obvious to anyone who observed the competition that the excitement level was very high."
School of Science and Engineering Magnet team members included Sirjan Kafle, team captain Andrew Merrill, Wesley Runnels, Murali Subramanian and Quinn Torres, with SEM teacher Joshua Newton acting as team coach.

"The Calculus Bowl was a wonderful opportunity for our students to test their knowledge of calculus and compete against some of the best students in the region," Newton said. "The competition was very intense and allowed our students to showcase their knowledge and speed in a lively competition. Our students had a great time at the event and are already excited about competing again next year."

Flower Mound team members included Ameya Bhat, Preston Biro, team captain Adeesh Jain, Lakshmi Menon and Aaron Tan, with Flower Mound math teachers Mary Walker and Russell Yeatts serving as team coaches.

"These kids did a great job of working together," Walker said. "As captain, Adeesh listened to all the students' solutions before he entered an answer choice. These guys did not give up despite the fact that at one point early on they were in last place. They did a great job of fighting back to be

School of Science and Engineering Magnet team members include, from left, Quinn Torres, Murali Subramanian, team captain Andrew Merrill, Wesley Runnels, Sirjan Kafle and team coach Joshua Newton.

Flower Mound High School team members include, from left, coach Russell Yeatts, Lakshmi Menon, Preston Biro, Ameya Bhat, Adeesh Jain, Aaron Tan and coach Mary Walker.

fcontending for first place during the very last question. I am so very proud of this team."

The top two teams received medals and trophies. Many teams came to the event wearing matching T-shirts or costumes created especially for the Calculus Bowl. Richardson Berkner High School and Kennedale High School received the Team Spirit Outfit award, which goes to the team or teams with the most unique apparel. The students enjoyed free pizza and drinks between rounds.

The Calculus Bowl is one of many outreach programs conducted by the Department of Mathematics and the College of Science each year which are aimed at inspiring enthusiasm in mathematics and science among school-age students in North Texas.

Posted March 25, 2013