Kids Battle It Out on a Mathematical Playing Field

Nearly 450 students from 25 area schools converged on UT Dallas Wednesday for a competition capable of bolstering your appreciation of grade-school teachers, their students and the appeal of difficult mathematical problems.

The second annual E2 Brainiacs Mathematics Competition was sponsored by the Electrical Engineering Department (hence the E2) of the University’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

“Mathematics serves as the foundation for electrical engineering, and our goal is to promote an interest in mathematics to inspire the next generation of great electrical engineers,” said Dr. Jung Lee, who organized the competition with her husband, Dr. Gil Lee. “We hope some of our students will grow up to be the next Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla or Nobel Prize winner Jack Kilby.”

Students competed in several categories, including algebra, geometry and pre-calculus, with trophies awarded to the top three students in each area.

The students’ sophistication in math and science was particularly evident when a seventh-grader explained binary pulsars to lunchtime speaker and Nobel laureate Russell Hulse, the co-discoverer of binary pulsars.

“Why do I enjoy doing this?” Jung Lee asked. “I like to see young minds being challenged. I like to see many local students visit UT Dallas and feel some of the flavor of college life. Not everyone can win at the competition, but they can enjoy being at a university and dreaming and planning for their future.”

Students from R.L. Turner High School, one of 25 area high schools and middle schools that sent participants to the math competition.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].