On April 19, 2018 the UConn graduate student chapter of the AMS held their first annual integration bee where undergraduate students of varying levels of mathematical background came together to test their knowledge of the infamous functional operator: the integral. The students all sat anxiously awaiting the first round of The Bee where they would be presented with 3 integrals which they would have to complete in five minutes or else.
Many of UConn’s gifted students made it through the first round but the many rounds to follow would give the students a challenge they won’t soon forget. After the first round students were brought to the chalkboard in groups of four to complete various integrals on the spot. The rules were that each round a student had four minutes to complete the integral and if they ran out of time or got the answer incorrect they would receive a strike. Unlike in baseball where a team is given the safety cushion of 3 strikes you’re out, our batters were each given only 2 strikes until they were out.
After three hours many bees left the hive and there were only four bees left competing. The four contenders at this point were Zerun Zhao, Grace Lauber, Zhongwei Wang, and Nick Juricic. The contestants who scored in the top three won prizes which were generously donated from our sponsors: Starbucks, Lizzie’s, Kathmandu, Subway, Moes, and Gansett Wraps. Grace and Zerun competed for the third place prize with Grace clutching the prize with just seconds to spare. The last round was a rollercoaster of emotions with Nick and Zhongwei competing to solve the last integral which Nick solved to take the big seat.
Although there were only 3 winners who officially won prizes all of the bees received a nice meal compliments of the AMS. Furthermore because they were in the presence of the infamous functional operator, the integral, we at the UConn graduate student AMS chapter like to think that all students who attended won in some way. (by Cory Weinfeld)