Apr 16, 2012
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Students win Mathematics Jeopardy at MAA meeting

At the April 14  meeting of the Maryland-Virginia-DC Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) held at the Owings Mills campus of Stevenson University, a team of four Goucher students (Robyn Edwards, Tamiro Villazon Schöler, Hugh Geller, and Yan Zhuang) competed in the Rapid Dash competition. Rapid Dash can best be described as “Mathematics meets The Amazing Race.” The nine entered teams were presented with a series of mathematical challenges of increasing difficulty. Halfway through the competition, the Goucher team found itself in fifth place, squarely in the middle of the pack. By the time the challenges were complete, Goucher finished in second place, closely behind the Roanoke College team, and winning recognition before the entire assembly of the meeting’s participants.

Earlier in the day, Villazon Schöler, Geller, and Zhuang competed against five other teams in a Mathematics Jeopardy contest. Off to a slow start, the Goucher team found itself in second place after the Jeopardy round. By the time Double Jeopardy had ended, Goucher was tied for first with the team from Hampden-Sydney. So it all came down to Final Jeopardy. This was the clue: “During a certain span of days, it was observed that when it rained during the afternoon, it had been clear in the morning, and when it rained in the morning, it was clear in the afternoon. It rained on 9 days and was clear on 6 afternoons and 7 mornings. This is the number of days in the span.” The Goucher team wagered its entire assets and answered the question correctly (“What is 11?”). Hampden-Sydney answered the question incorrectly. So, Goucher won the Jeopardy competition by a very comfortable margin.

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