Math wizards compete for scholarships

WARREN, Mich. - Five De La Salle Collegiate students competed Wednesday in the second part of the Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition. Their scores in the first portion - a 40- question, multiple-choice exam - taken earlier this fall, ranked among the top 1,000 students in Michigan. 

The second part was a five-proof exam. Both exams are given at De La Salle. 

The students include senior Derrelle Murray, juniors Michael Wisnieswki and Suheum Hao, sophomore Minseok Bae, and senior Tristan Lago, who competed in Part 2 in 2018. 

De La Salle’s Math Department chair Joe Novak said 50 students took the first part of the competition, which is voluntary and open to all students. 

The top 100 students in the second part of the MMPC are invited to an awards banquet, and the top 50 receive a scholarship worth $250 to $2500. De La Salle has had students place in the top 100.

Novak says the challenge of the test is good for students.

“Students may see math they haven’t seen before,” he said, “and sometimes they don’t know their full potential until pushed.” 

Novak also notes that Bae, who also took the first part last year, did so well that the Math Department moved him to the Advanced Placement Calculus AB class; Bae did well on the May 2019 exam, and this year, is enrolled in AP Calculus BC. 

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