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100 Students from New Haven’s Public Schools to Participate in Math Event at Yale, April 27


New Haven, Conn. — One hundred New Haven middle school students will participate in a special MATHCOUNTS competition on April 27 at Yale, thanks, in large part, to the efforts of 16 dedicated Yale undergraduates.

Reporters are encouraged to attend this unusual event. The public is welcome, 2:45–4 p.m.

MATHCOUNTS, founded in 1982, is a nationwide enrichment program designed to increase enthusiasm for mathematics and enhance achievement in problem-solving in the middle schools through practice sessions leading to local, regional and national competitions. Participants are called “mathletes.”

The special competition at Yale will begin with a “Sprint Round” at 11 a.m. in Room 101, Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 61 High St. Following lunch and a juggling demonstration by the Yale Anti-Gravity Society, there will be team and target rounds consisting of complex, multi-step, written problems. The top students will then participate in the “Countdown Round,” a fast-paced, one-on-one oral competition similar to Jeopardy.

Roger Howe, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Mathematics at Yale, will present a talk on number patterns to the mathletes. A closing ceremony will take place at 3:30 p.m., when a representative from the New Haven Public Schools will present student competitors with awards.

This year for the first time, 16 Yale undergraduates—most of them MATHCOUNTS alumni—worked with teachers in 12 different New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) to lead weekly practice sessions, enhancing skills and self confidence while promoting interest in math.

According to Lou DiGioia, executive director of MATHCOUNTS, Yale’s is “the first organized urban outreach program to use college students as MATHCOUNTS coaches. The passion and energy of these students is amazing. We hope their efforts will motivate students at other fine universities to give back to their local community in a similar manner.”

“I became motivated to start the MATHCOUNTS outreach program when I discovered that no NHPS schools were among the 123 Connecticut schools that participated in MATHCOUNTS last year. I wanted to ensure that the NHPS students have access to the math-enrichment opportunities I enjoyed when I was in middle school,” said Brian Edwards, a junior at Yale and the program’s founder.

MATHCOUNTS Outreach is a collaboration involving Yale undergraduates, the NHPS math department, the Connecticut Society of Professional Engineers (CSPE) and the MATHCOUNTS Foundation to improve math education in New Haven schools. CSPE organizes MATHCOUNTS competitions in Connecticut. This special competition is sponsored by MATHCOUNTS Outreach and Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs.

In February 2007, 15 NHPS students participated in the New Haven MATHCOUNTS Chapter Competition. One, Addie Mitchell, placed 12 overall and advanced to the Connecticut State Competition on March 3 in Hartford.

“Addie is just one example of the many bright New Haven students who would not have access to math-enrichment opportunities without the MATHCOUNTS Outreach program,” said Edwards.

Additional information on MATHCOUNTS and the Lockheed Martin MATHCOUNTS National Competition in Fort Worth on May 11 is available at Additional information on MATHCOUNTS Outreach: a Yale Undergraduate Organization is available at


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