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-== St. Olaf math minds place first at competition == 
-By Becca Heistad '09 
-December 15, 2008 
-A two-man team of St. Olaf math students, Nate Clement '10 and Thomas McConville '09, claimed victory at the Mathematical Association of America's team competition this fall. Team Euler, named in honor of the 18th-century Swiss mathematician, came in first out of 72 teams from 28 colleges and universities of the North Central Section of the MAA. 
-Each year the MAA holds sectional competitions in an effort to challenge some of the brightest young mathematical minds in the state and to advance the mathematical sciences at the collegiate level. 
-Not only did Clement and McConville win the battle for bragging rights against their peers at this year's competition, they also received a nearly perfect score. While the median on the difficult test was only 40.5, Team Euler scored a total of 97 out of a possible 100 points, which is something they took more pride in than the win itself, according to Clement. 
-Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics Jason Gower noted that because Clement and McConville competed as a pair when other teams in the competition had a third member, it made their victory even more impressive. "They beat out students from other schools with very good math programs, so I'm very impressed," Gower says. 
-After taking part in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program this year, Clement says he felt prepared to demonstrate his mathematical prowess. "Between my problem-solving class and others, I have had plenty of math 'training' to stay in shape for competitions like the NCS," he says. 
-McConville and Clement, along with Mathew Deram '11, placed fifth in last year's team competition. Turning in a strong performance at a competition like the MAA NCS is gratifying, Clement says. 
-"Seeing personal improvement is an encouraging sign that one is actually progressing as a mathematician," he says.  
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Revision as of 00:46, 20 December 2008


Image of the Old Music Hall

The mathematics program at St. Olaf is nationally recognized for innovative and effective teaching, for scholarship, and for service to the profession. We see mathematics as interesting, important, useful, and appropriate for students with a wide variety of interests. Welcome to our mathematical community.

What's Happening in St. Olaf Math?

Watch this spot for news of colloquia and other weekly events.

Every Week!

1. Math Problem Solving Group Day, Time, Room still to be determined

The Math Problem Solving Group meets weekly to work on a variety of problems, often with a central theme, and to discuss problem-solving strategies. Additionally, students can use the meetings to prepare for the MAA North Central Section Team Contest, the Putnam Exam, the Konhauser Problemfest, the COMAP modeling contest, and other math competitions. This is an excellent exercise for students pursuing careers in math education and for students contemplating graduate mathematical study.

Interested students should contact Prof. Gower ( by Friday, September 19. Please indicate which night(s) of the week are best for you and any nights that absolutely do not work for you. Please try to be as flexible as possible with scheduling.

2. Weekly MSCS Game Night, Wednesdays 6:45 P.M. Science Center 188

All game enthusiasts are welcome to come to SC 188 on Wednesday nights at 6:45 PM to play a variety of mathematical and other board games. Past games have included Hawaiian checkers, and Settlers of Catan, to name a few. Goodies will be served.

Why you should be there:

  • Lots of Fun
  • Meet new friends
  • Improve your reasoning skills

3. GRE Review Sessions

If you are planning to take the GRE Mathematics Subject test this year, now is the time to review. This fall, Professors Gower and Ufferman will be holding evening review sessions for the GRE math subject test. If you are interested in attending the sessions, please email Eric Ufferman ( by Friday, September 12th. Please indicate which night(s) of the week are best for you, any nights that absolutely do not work, and which date you are taking the test. Please try to be as flexible as possible with scheduling.