The contest consists of two parts: a two-stage individual competition
and a Math Bowl
team competition. All questions and problems assume preparation in
Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. Calculators are not permitted.
The day will also include recreational mathematical activities, campus tours,
and opportunities to gather information about majors, departments, the university,
and careers in mathematics and the mathematical sciences.
All contest participants begin the day by completing a one-hour multiple-choice
exam called FERMAT I
, which is then machine graded.
During FERMAT I, the Department of Mathematics will offer a presentation of interest to
high school teachers and chaperones. The participants who score in the top 50 on FERMAT I
advance to the second stage of the competition, FERMAT II
after lunch. FERMAT II consists of essay-type mathematical problems which demand uncommon
creativity and originality in their solutions. These exams are hand-graded by members of
the Mathematics Department faculty.
The Math Bowl
team competition is an exciting double
elimination tournament in the style of the Scholars Bowl. In each match of the
competition, two three-member teams compete against one another by using a
buzzer system to answer 10 questions. A point is awarded to a team each time it
answers a question correctly in the time allotted after its buzzer sounds.
Each team must lose 2 matches before it is eliminated from the tournament.
Teams will be classified according to the size of their high school (large or small).
Awards will be given to two divisions of teams, based on school size,
but schools will compete against one another regardless of division. Here
are some Math Bowl example problems
may not be used
during the Math Bowl. This competition will take place between the
FERMAT I and FERMAT II competitions and after FERMAT II, while the grading of each exam
Immediately following the championship round of the Math Bowl (about 4:00
p.m.), awards are presented as follows:
- Engraved Plaques to students who score in the top 5 on FERMAT I,
- Engraved Plaques and four-year, in-state scholarships at $4,000 per year
to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to students who score in
the top 10 on FERMAT II,
- Trophies and Individual Medals to the top two teams in each of two divisions
(based on school size) of the Math Bowl.
Previous winners of scholarships may compete again, but they will
not deprive another participant of a scholarship. Certificates of Participation
for each student, an award for the top FERMAT I scorer from each high school,
and Certificates of Merit for the top 50 finalists of FERMAT I are mailed
to each school along with statistical results of the exams.
The size of the contest will be limited to 1,000 students and 64 math bowl
teams. Each high school may register up to 30 students, and three of its
participants may form a math bowl team. If 64 math bowl teams have
not registered and paid their fees by October 30th 2013, each high
school will be permitted to enter a second team in the tournament.
At the time of registration, each high school should indicate the number
of teams it would like to enter. The tournament bracket is filled
based on the date each team was registered. You will be notified by
mail of the number of teams which were entered for you into the tournament.
Links of Interest
updated: Jul 31st 2008