Twenty Texas A&M University-Commerce students recently participated in the Calculus Bowl Competition at the 96th Annual Conference of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America. The competition took place at Stephen F. Austin State University, where one A&M-Commerce team took home second place!
“The Calculus Bowl benefits the students in a few ways. First, the competition questions are basic, typical and broad. To prepare for the competition, they practiced for many weeks. The practice is not only to prepare them for the Calculus Bowl Competition, but also to enhance students’ learning for future studies,” said Professor and Department Head of the Department of Mathematics Dr. Tingxiu Wang. “Second, the competition also increases their confidence and interest in math. Third, attending the conference gave the students a chance to listen to the talks given by students and faculty from other universities in Texas, thus students were able to know what other students do and to learn about topics that interest them.”
Thirty-three teams participated in the competition with A&M-Commerce forming five teams, four of which advanced on to the final round of competition. In addition to one A&M-Commerce team winning second place, two tied for third place and one tied for seventh—a clear indication of the high quality and competitiveness of the entire group.
“The Calculus Bowl competition strengthens our math majors’ skills, in addition to making many of these skill sets automatic. Participants in the Bowl also attend the Texas Section of the Mathematics Association of America’s state conference,” said Instructor of Mathematics, Lymeda Singleton. “The students are exposed to research in all areas of mathematics, as well as state and national level researchers, topics and trends in the field of mathematics. Many of our honor students have found the idea for their thesis projects, and then presented the findings of their project, at this conference, all because of their participation in the Calculus Bowl.”
This year’s Calculus Bowl was not the first Bowl in which A&M-Commerce students have earned awards. In the last five years, including this year’s competition, mathematics students at A&M-Commerce won first place two times and second place three times.
The coaches of the team included Singleton and Department of Mathematics Assistant Professors Dr. Charles Dorsett, Dr. Becky Dibbs and Dr. Mehmet Celik. These coaches worked diligently to prepare the students.
In addition to leading the team as coaches, Singleton and Dr. Celik drove two of four buses to Nacogdoches while Dr. Wang and Director of Developmental Mathematics and the Math Skills Center and Lecturer Dr. Pamela Webster drove the other two. Ten faculty members and six graduate and undergraduate students also presented their papers at the conference.
The Department of Mathematics will host the 97th Conference of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America at Texas A&M University-Commerce March 30 through April 1, 2017.