On October 24th, 2019, the UConn graduate student chapter of the AMS held its Third Annual Integration Bee. Undergraduates of varying levels of mathematical background came together to test their knowledge of integrals. For the first round, all students were given the same three integrals to work out on a sheet of paper. To advance to the second round, they needed to solve two out of the three integrals within five minutes. In the succeeding rounds, students took turns in groups of four to six, going to the blackboard to compute a randomly chosen integral in under four minutes. In each round, if the student did not finish in the given time, or finished but provided an incorrect solution, they received a strike. After a student received two strikes, they were eliminated from the competition.
After an hour and a half, every student had received at least one strike except for Brian Behrens, who had correctly solved all other integrals up to that point. When all students received an additional strike for a very challenging integral, Brian was crowned the winner and was able to watch as the rest battled for second and third place.
With five students remaining, the competition continued until we got down to the final two contestants for second and third place: Keegan Yao and Nick Juricic. They battled back and forth for over 10 additional rounds, both always getting the correct answers. In the final round, they were asked to evaluate a challenging integral in the usual four-minute time frame. Nicks’s solution had one minor mistake while Keegan Yao successfully solved the integral and earned second place in the competition.
Contestants who scored in the top three won prizes that were generously donated from our sponsors: 1st place received a visa gift card provided by Cengage, 2nd place received a gift card to Lizzie’s Curbside Catering, and Gansett wraps, and 3rd place received a gift card to Dog Lane Cafe.
Although there were only three winners who officially won prizes, all students who attended the Integration Bee received a nice meal, compliments of the AMS, as well as the joy of solving math problems.