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Who Wants To Be A Mathematician

The National Who Wants to Be a Mathematician


David Vogan and Vivek Miglani

Vivek Miglani won the 2014 national Who Wants to Be a Mathematician at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore. Vivek is pictured above accepting the trophy from AMS President David Vogan. (Photo: Sandy Huffaker.)

Qualifying for the 2015 national Who Wants to Be a Mathematician will begin in September (2014). Teachers (and parents who homeschool their children) who'd like to request a qualifying test should email the AMS Public Awareness Office, paoffice at ams dot org, with the subject line "National WWTBAM." In the body of the message, include your name, school, contact information, and courses taught this year. In early September we'll send you more information about how your students can qualify.

There are two rounds of tests, administered via Maplesoft's Maple TA. Those who score eight or above on the round one test advance to round two (in October). We take the top scorer in each of 10 regions of the country in the round two test. Those students will travel to the 2015 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Antonio in January to compete for the $10,000 first prize ($5,000 for the individual and $5,000 for his or her math department).

The game is for high school students but middle school students can try to qualify. The youngest qualifier we've had for the national game was a freshman.

The 10 semifinalists for the 2014 national contest, which took place on January 16 in Baltimore at the 2014 Joint Mathematics Meetings, are:

  • Patrick Guo, Westwood High School, TX
  • Sammy Luo, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
  • Clark Lyons, High Technology High School, NJ
  • Vivek Miglani, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, FL
  • Emily Mu, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
  • Shyam Narayanan, Blue Valley West High School, KS
  • Tahsin Saffat, Westview High School, OR
  • Kevin Sun, Phillips Exeter Academy, NH
  • Jesse Zhang, Fairview High School, CO and
  • Dennis Zhao, Montgomery Blair High School, MD

See photos and more information about the contestants.

More than 2000 students participated. This year most students took the qualifying tests online thanks to our sponsor Maplesoft and its online testing system Maple T.A. See the Round Two test with answers and the Round One test with answers.

Topics covered in the game and in the qualifying rounds include algebra, trigonometry, geometry, history of mathematics, probability--everything but calculus.

Read about previous national contests: 2013 (champ Calvin Deng pictured below), 2012, 2011 and 2010 and see previous qualifying tests (2010, 2011, 2012) and keys (2010, 2011, and 2012, and 2013).

Calvin with his "check" From the 2010 contest in San Francisco

Above photo from 2010 contest by E. David Luria.


In addition to the cash prizes in the national contest, there are also prizes donated by: our technology sponsor Maplesoft Inc., Texas Instruments, John Wiley & Sons, and the AMS. The game is a program of the AMS Public Awareness Office and was developed by Mike Breen (AMS Public Awareness Officer) and Bill Butterworth (DePaul University ).