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MEDIA CONTACT: Paige Garrido

FAU Middle School Math Team Places 1st in Florida in the American Mathematics Competition

BOCA RATON, Fla. (December 19, 2013) – Florida Atlantic University’s middle school math team placed first out of 63 Florida teams that participated in the American Mathematics Competition for 6ththrough 8th graders (AMC-8) in November. The FAU team scored 72 out of a possible 75 points, placing the team in the top 5 percent of more than 2,200 teams worldwide.

The team was comprised of local middle school students who participated in FAU’s Middle School Math Day, an annual event held at the Boca Raton campus and organized by the Department of Mathematical Sciences within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. More than 140 middle school students from 12 schools in Broward and Palm Beach counties participated in the FAU event, which kicked off with the AMC-8 test.

The AMC-8 is a 25 question, 40 minute multiple choice examination designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem solving skills at the middle school level. Students are awarded points for correct answers, with a score of 25 as the highest. The team score is made up of a test site’s three highest scores. The AMC program has been organized by the Mathematical Association of America for more than 60 years and has become a highly competitive event for middle and high school mathematics programs.

Following the AMC-8 exam, FAU’s Math Day included a lecture about cryptography – the art and science of secure communication – by keynote speaker Koray Karabina, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Math Day concluded with a math trivia challenge led by Tomas Schonbek, Ph.D., professor of mathematical sciences, where students were grouped into teams and used i>Clickers, hand-held remotes that allow students to enter responses while sitting in their seats, to answer questions in real-time.

“It is amazing to watch the kids get so excited about math,” said Hai Pham, a volunteer at the event who is pursuing his graduate degree in mathematics. “It brings back memories of the awesome experience I had when I participated in Math Day here at FAU. I got to talk to the students about the competitions, our campus and hear their positive feedback about Math Day.”

FAU’s Math Days are generously supported by signature sponsor Wells Fargo with additional support from i>Clicker, Publix Super Market Charities and Pearson Higher Education.

For more information, contact Emily Cimillo at 561-297-3342 or


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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