News and Events
Pepperdine Math Day Awards Over $10K in Prizes to Local Students
Over 100 students from 12 different local Southern California high schools spent the day at Pepperdine University on Saturday, Nov. 15 for the second annual Math Day, sponsored by the Natural Science department. Top students took home scholarships and prizes totaling over $10,000.
"The two main purposes of this event are to promote interest and reward excellence in mathematics and science, as well as to increase the interaction between Pepperdine and our local Southern California high school faculty and students," says David Strong, associate professor of mathematics at Pepperdine University, who notes that many teachers and parents also attended.
The first order of business for the day was a one-and-a-half hour competitive written math exam, for which the top performers would receive prizes during the afternoon awards ceremony. The prizes included $7,500 in scholarships to Pepperdine: $2,500 for the top scorer, $2,000 for second, $1,500, $1,000 and $500 to the third, fourth and fifth highest scorers, respectively. Other prizes included sought-after computer software, calculators, gift certificates and math books.
"A big thanks goes to the Seaver College Dean's office, which provided all the scholarship money," says Strong, who solicited the other prizes from companies such as Texas Instruments, Maple, and MathWorks.
The event, which began in 2006 but was cancelled in 2007 due to brushfires, will continue to be staged every year at the Malibu campus of Pepperdine. It's open to high school students who are interested in pursuing a career in math and/or science. "What's good about taking math is that it teaches you to think carefully and resourcefully, to be persistent, to not give up, and a lot of other traits that are very useful," Strong says. "Math majors have about as high an acceptance rate to any grad school, including law school, of any major."
Strong says that another goal of the event is also to help improve the nation's output of math and science scholars. "There's plenty of good math and science students in America, but we could use a lot more," he says. "Students don't think of it as a glamorous thing to go into, but there are plenty of jobs that require math that are really a lot of fun and can be very lucrative."
Click here for more information on Math Day 2008.