PCC Downtown Campus

PCC Downtown Campus

Ron McCoy Photography

High school students who know what A = pi times r-squared is will converge on Pima Community College’s Downtown Campus this week to test their knowledge of proofs, formulas and theorems.

The College’s annual Mathematics Competition brings together high school freshmen and sophomores for a full day of activities aimed at expanding their appreciation of what Albert Einstein called “the poetry of logical ideas.”

“We want to celebrate youth achievement in mathematics,” said Diane Lussier, a member of College’s math faculty. “This is an opportunity for students across the city to flex their math muscles in a fun competition that focuses on mathematics excellence.”

An equally important goal, Lussier said, is to strengthen the close, long-standing relationship between the College and local high schools. Over the past seven years, more than 30 local high schools and more than 700 mathletes have competed in this competition, which awards medals to the top six freshman and the top six sophomores. The high school team with the highest score takes home a trophy.

This year’s competition has as its keynote speaker Dr. Charles Falco, a professor at the University of Arizona’s prestigious Optical Sciences Center. Falco coauthored two books, holds seven patents, and will captivate the young minds of our bright mathematicians with his talk on his Art of Motor Cycle exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum and other fun physics topics. The students will have an opportunity to ask questions and speak to him.

The Nov. 1 competition is the eighth hosted by PCC. Fifteen schools are participating this year. Questions should be directed to Lussier at 206-7115 or dlussier@pima.edu.

As for A = pi times r-squared, it’s math for the area of a circle.

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