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Math awards set for Thursday

An El Paso High School team won the top award in the Great Southwestern Math Contest sponsored by New Mexico State University. An awards ceremony for the winners is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday in Science Hall on the NMSU campus.

two teams of high school students competed on April 12 by logging into Web-CT and answering the contest questions.

"The contest was aimed at any high school student, freshman through senior," said organizer and math professor Caroline Sweezy. "There were a couple problems for which students could or should use calculus. But most were for any student who has taken high school geometry and algebra."

There were 25 fun and challenging mathematics problems on the test. One of three teams from El Paso High School, under the coaching of Rudy Medina, scored highest. Teams from Las Cruces High School won second place and tied for third place. Mayfield and Oņate High School teams tied for fourth place. Members of the first-place team will receive Science Notebook software donated by MacKichan Software Inc. All the contestants on teams that placed will receive a book on mathematics.

NMSU's Department of Mathematical Sciences began the annual contest in 2002.

"We wanted to have a math contest for local high schools and eventually extend it to all of southern New Mexico, " Sweezy said. "It gets students interested in math; it's an outreach activity from NMSU's Department of Mathematical Sciences; and it's not just classroom mathematics. There are fun and unusual problems to solve."