Science Atlantic Mathematics Competition Guidelines
The Science Atlantic Math competition is a mathematical problem solving competition written at the annual Science Atlantic Mathematics and Statistics meeting. The following rules shall govern the administration of the competition.
Developing the competition
- A competition committee of three professors from Atlantic Canadian universities shall be appointed by the Science Atlantic Math & Stats committee to coordinate the competition each year. One member of the Competition committee will be selected to head the committee. All members of the committee should be from different universities.
- The committee’s role is to:
- Solicit questions for the competition from the mathematics community. Any professor, including the committee members themselves, may contribute problems.
- Select the questions to be used on the competition. The questions selected by the committee should cover as many diverse areas of mathematics as possible while avoiding advanced topics.
- Safeguard the integrity of the competition process. Until the writing of the competition, the committee shall endeavour to keep the content of the competition as confidential as possible. Under no circumstances should any student be allowed any advance knowledge of competition questions.
Committee members who act as coaches should be aware that this may restrict what they can tell their teams, even to the point of which “folklore” can be stressed. Where practicable, it may be advisable to have a colleague who is not on the committee, and will be able to speak more freely, coach the team.
- Coordinate the writing of competition, following the guidelines below.
- Coordinate the grading of the competition, following the guidelines below.
Writing the competition
The contest shall be written, on site, at the annual Science Atlantic Mathematics and Statistics meeting. In exceptional circumstances the committee may give permission for students or teams to participate from a remote site (usually by FAX), but participants will be expected to make all reasonable efforts to attend.
- The competition is a team competition, with each team consisting of two students from Atlantic Canadian Universities. If any university brings an odd number of students, the coach shall nominate one student to enter the singles pool. This pool, if singleton, shall constitute a team; otherwise it shall be divided by the judges into teams of two with (if necessary) one team of three.
- Only teams consisting of students from Science Atlantic universities who have not received an undergraduate degree, and have written the competition at most three times previously are eligible to receive prizes.
- The competition is written in one 3 hour sitting and no aids (such as books, calculators, or outside coaching) are permitted. The two team members may collaborate.
- Each team shall be assigned a number. Answers to the competition questions will be submitted on answer sheets which contain only this team number as an identifier.
- The competition shall typically consist of 6 to 9 questions. Answers to questions must be complete and organized in order to receive full credit.
Grading the competition
- Once the competition is over, the answer sheets will be collected and the members of the Competition committee shall organize the grading of the exam. The competition committee may recruit members of the Atlantic Canadian Mathematics community as markers, at the committee’s discretion.
- Markers should not receive any materials with identifications such as team member’s names or universities. If any such information is on an answer sheet, it should be blacked out prior to the markers receiving the sheets.
- Once the marking is complete, the competition committee should meet to rank the teams, based on total score.
- Answer sheets should be kept for one month after the competition.
Disseminating the results
- Results of the competition should remain confidential, and known only to the competition committee, until the Science Atlantic meeting banquet is held. The top finishers and their scores should be announced publicly at this time, and prizes awarded. Ordinarily the judges shall announce the teams in first, second and third place (including ties); however, at their discretion, they may give honorable mention to other teams whose scores are close to that of the third place team. The first place team shall receive the plaque which shall reside in their department for one year.
- After the banquet, each team’s score shall be released to team members or their coach(es).