Students Get to the Root of the Problem in Competition

Students Get to the Root of the Problem in Competition

This month, hundreds of high school students will spend several intense hours in the Lowcountry trying to find answers to some very difficult problems. Math problems that is.

More than 400 participants representing 37 high schools and math clubs from across the Southeast are expected to take part in the 39th annual College of Charleston Math Meet on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.

The event, one of the oldest such contests in the Southeast, is sponsored by the College’s Department of Mathematics and brings talented high school students to the campus for innovative and exciting mathematical competitions. The event also helps high school teachers throughout the region to motivate their students to excel, and to recognize the role of math outside the classroom.

“We get to meet dedicated and talented high school students from all over the Southeast, and we get to meet their teachers and help build the community,” says College of Charleston mathematics professor Garrett Mitchener. “Additionally, the Math Meet gives us the opportunity to collaborate with our faculty colleagues from other STEM-related departments.”

Most of the competition will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Robert Scott Small, Maybank Hall and Sottile Theater on the College of Charleston campus. The meet will consist of a variety of events including multiple choice tests, all-day puzzles and team eliminations with a quiz-bowl style finale. Winners will receive prizes including trophies, plaques, scholarships, cash awards and books for to recognize their mathematical prowess.

The event is free and open to the public.

Think you have what it takes to compete?  Try these sample problems from the 2017 contest:

1. A two digit integer is x times the sum of its digits. The integer formed by reversing the digits of the original number is the sum of the digits of the original number multiplied by what?

(A)  x

(B)   11 − x

(C)   9 − 2x

(D)   1/x

(E)    none of these


2. A recent poll of Lowcountry students revealed the following: 8 liked pluff mud, but not oysters; 11 liked boiled peanuts, but not oysters; 9 liked boiled peanuts, but not pluff mud; 4 liked oysters, but not pluff mud; and 7 liked pluff mud, but not boiled peanuts. How many students liked oysters but not boiled peanuts?

(A) 5

(B) 6

(C) 8

(D) 9

(E) Not enough information to tell


3. x, y, and z are nonzero numbers. If x is 30% of z and y is 6% of z, then y is what percent of x?

(A) 5%

(B) 15%

(C) 18%

(D) 20%

(E) none of these


Correct answers:

Question 1: B

Question 2: A

Question 3: D