College of Science News
Flower Mound High wins Calculus Bowl title for third time
It appears there’s a dynasty-in-the-making at the UT Arlington Calculus Bowl. Flower Mound High School dominated the final round on its way to winning the 11th annual event on March 4 in Pickard Hall.
It was Flower Mound’s second straight win and third overall, tying the Oakridge School of Arlington for most wins.
The Flower Mound team, comprised of Cameron Blocker, Tyler Fugere, Adeesh Jain and Ziqi Li, easily outpaced runner-up Paschal High School of Fort Worth, outscoring them 37-18 in the final round.
“I feel that part of our success comes from a Math Department that truly prepares our students for AP Calculus,” said Flower Mound team advisor and math teacher Mary Walker. “Our students enter calculus prepared to focus on just that rather than on the algebra or trig that is required to be successful in calculus. Secondly, our calculus teacher, Mr. Yeatts, does a phenomenal job. Finally, the team that we take to the Calculus Bowl is largely comprised of students who compete on our UIL Math, Number Sense and Calculator teams. These students constantly compete under the pressure of time in the UIL events, so they are quick with their answers, which makes a difference in the Calculus Bowl.”
Paschal’s team members included Alex Hulen, Tim Kuhnen, Daniel Sherman, Max Wade and Dominic Yurk, with teacher Dan Powderly serving as team advisor.
This year’s event drew 23 teams of high school students from across the Metroplex. The event had to be rescheduled after snow and ice postponed it Feb. 4. Hristo Kojouharov, associate professor of mathematics and the creator and coordinator of the Calculus Bowl, said the postponement didn’t create too many headaches for event preparations.
“It wasn’t that big of an issue, other than the fact that we were set to have 28 teams here competing, which would have been a record,” Kojouharov said. “With the new date, some of the schools had scheduling conflicts and couldn’t make it, including several that have never been before. So that was the main thing, that some schools didn’t get a chance to participate.”
The Calculus Bowl is a fast-paced competition in which teams race to solve a series of pre-calculus and calculus problems. Ten teams advanced from the preliminaries to the finals, where Flower Mound and Paschal went 1-2. Other team making the finals included: North Hills Preparatory, Hirschi High School, Coppell High School, Haltom High School, Argyle High School, the Oakridge School, Birdville High School and Hebron High School.
For the students, who were treated to a show at the Planetarium prior to the event, the Calculus Bowl is a chance to make math fun and to enjoy the thrill of competition.
“Even though we did not do as well this year, my entire team had an amazing time and it is definitely my favorite academic competition,” North Hills Preparatory student Jarrod Milhorn said in an email. “I am a senior so this was my last year competing, but I hope the Bowl continues to be a fun opportunity for high school students and also that it keeps growing every year.”
Teams are encouraged to dress in theme attire, with a Spirit Award going to the team or teams judged to have the best costumes. This year, Kennedale High School and Haltom High School won Spirit Awards for their attire. Kennedale team members dressed as animals including a gorilla, zebra, lion and elephant, while the Haltom team had matching T-shirts made with their motto, the “Fantastic Five,” on the front.
Flower Mound will try for its third straight win next year.
“I don’t know if we can repeat again next year, but we certainly look forward to trying,” Walker said. “Regardless of how we do, we always enjoy the competition, and my students look forward to it all year long.”