Pellissippi State Community College has bested its previous record in a national math competition, finishing sixth in the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges Student Mathematics League for 2022-2023.
Pellissippi State cracked the top 10 for the first time last year, finishing eighth. The college’s previous best finish was 20th nationally in 2019-2020.
“Many of the students participating in this contest spent weeks preparing for the contest, meeting weekly to discuss and solve problems with help from several of our math faculty here at Pellissippi State,” said Associate Professor Robert “Bobby” Jackson, who coordinates the annual competition for the college. “It was so encouraging to see these students engaged and excited about mathematics and its applications. The record finish this year is a testament to their dedication.”
The Student Mathematics League is a competition comprised of two rounds: one in the fall semester and one in the spring. Students individually take a one-hour, 20-question multiple choice exam that contains some nonstandard challenging questions that test students’ problem-solving skills. Points are awarded for correct responses, but incorrect answers lose points.
The scores from the top five students at each college are counted toward the team score.
Pellissippi State has a tradition of math excellence, having finished first in the Student Mathematics League competition in Tennessee every year since 2009. This is the second year in a row that Pellissippi State finished first in the Southeast Region, Jackson noted, and Pellissippi State students swept the top three spots in the Southeast, with Jonah Weston finishing first for the second year in a row, Nathan Spann finishing second and Cordelia Hu finishing third.
Weston, who finished 9th in the nation in 2021-2022 while still a dual enrollment student at Pellissippi State, jumped five spots to finish 4th in the nation for 2022-2023 while Spann notched a 14th place finish nationally.
Other students at Pellissippi State who contributed to the college’s team score for 2022-23 are Zachary Gerber, Michael Feiel, Colton Coughlin, Michael Hall, Noah Harris and Braygen Jones.
Lesli Bales-Sherrod, public relations specialist, Pellissippi State Community College