Pellissippi State Community College not only finished first in the Southeast in the 2019-2020 Student Mathematics League competition, but also had the top individual in the region – a dual enrolled student who is still in high school.
Jingxing Wang, a senior at Knoxville Catholic High School, finished first in the Southeast. Wang, who has completed 10 hours of college credit at Pellissippi State, is taking Calculus-Based Physics this fall and is registered for eight hours of classes this spring.
“I like to do any type of math competitions, and this one was quite similar to the other ones I’ve taken,” said Wang, who is applying to four-year colleges now with his sights set on University of Chicago. “I don’t know what I will do when I grow up, but I really enjoy theoretical physics and cooking. I also want to write a book.”
“He is truly remarkable,” said Spencer Joy, dual enrollment specialist for Pellissippi State.
Pellissippi State has a tradition of math excellence, having finished first in the Student Mathematics League competition in Tennessee every year since 2009 and having had two other students finish first in the region: Lily Turaski in 2016-2017 and Trevor Sharpe in 2011-2012.
This is the first time the College has placed first in the Southeast, however.
“We were 20th nationally, which also is the highest we have been,” said Associate Professor Robert “Bobby” Jackson, who coordinates the annual competition for Pellissippi State.
The competition is open to any Pellissippi State student, and close to 100 students usually participate. Those who compete have one hour to answer as many of the 20 questions as they can. Questions may involve precalculus algebra, trigonometry, synthetic and analytic geometry, and probability.
The 2020-2021 competition has been canceled due to the pandemic.
Info about Pellissippi State here or call 865-694-6400.
Lesli Bales-Sherrod does marketing and writing for Pellissippi State Community College.