Who Wants to Be a Mathematician?


Are you looking for a chance to reward and showcase your best math students -- and the chance to share the winning contestant's $10,000 award with your math department?

The American Mathematical Society is again conducting its national contest for high school students, Who Wants to Be a Mathematician, with a top prize of $5000 for the winning student and $5000 for the math department of that student's school. There is no fee to participate.

*When/where: The 2014 contest will take place Thursday, January 16, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at the Convention Center in Baltimore. The event is part of the Joint Mathematics Meetings, which will take place January 15-18, 2014.

*Qualifying test: Contestants are chosen based on their scores on qualifying tests. This year we will have two rounds of tests, which will be conducted online (but if you absolutely can't do the test online, we can send you a hard copy) thanks to one of our sponsors, Maplesoft, Inc. The first round will be Sept. 14-27. There will also be a practice test available during that time, so you and your students can become accustomed to the test procedure.

*Qualifying procedure: Let us know how many students at your school plan to take the test and we will send you a password for each in addition to a proctor password for you. The online test is a timed (15-minute), closed-book, no-calculator (and no other electronic help) test. Each student who plans to take the test must have his or her own password. Past participants in the national Who Wants to Be a Mathematician are eligible to compete again.

*Deadline: The first-round testing period ends Sept. 27. Students who score eight or above on the 10-question test will move on to the second round of testing in mid-October. The AMS will select 10 contestants from different regions of the US from the second round of testing to compete in the 2014 contest in January in Baltimore.

*Contest format: There will be two semifinal games, each with five of the contestants. The winners of the two semifinals will go "head-to-head" in the finals for the national championship. The champion will win $5000 for himself or herself, $5000 for your math department, a traveling trophy for you to display at the school until the 2015 contest, a trophy for the school/department to keep, and an individual trophy for the winner to keep. All contestants will win prizes, cash for themselves, and cash for your department (the minimum cash prize is $500 for the student and $500 for the department). The AMS will reimburse reasonable travel expenses and room and board for each contestant and a parent/guardian for a maximum of two nights. Contestants and their parent(s)/guardian(s) are welcome to attend other events at the meeting.

*From past participants: "Thanks so much for this amazing opportunity, and our school certainly appreciates the support, too!"
"Thanks so much for everything! The entire competition was an amazing experience that was unlike anything I've ever been a part of."

*See more about the contest at

Mike Breen
AMS Public Awareness Officer and
Host of Who Wants to Be a Mathematician

Mailing address:
Mike Breen
c/o AMS
201 Charles St.
Providence, RI 02904