UP Math Challenge

The Upper Peninsula High School Math Challenge is a peninsula-wide competition for students in grades 9-12.  Students compete on teams of four.  Schools may register as many teams as they care to.  Faculty and students from the Math and Computer Science Department volunteer every year for this fun event.

NMU-Math and Computer Science Department
1401 Presque Isle Avenue
Marquette, MI  49855
Fax:  906-227-2010
Email:  math_cs@nmu.edu

2017 Math Challenge Resources

2017 U.P. High School Math Challenge Results

The Eighth Annual Upper Peninsula High School Math Challenge was held on Saturday April 8, 2017 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm EST, all throughout Jamrich Hall at Northern Michigan University.

The contest was attended by 106 students on 27 teams representing the following 5 schools:

Escanaba Area Public High School, Escanaba Area Public Schools (Delta Co, MI) Houghton Central High School, Houghton-Portage Township School District (Houghton Co, MI) Ishpeming High School, Ishpeming Public School District No. 1 (Marquette Co, MI) Lake Linden-Hubbell High School, Lake Linden-Hubbell School District (Houghton Co, MI) Munising High And Middle School, Munising Public Schools (Alger Co, MI)

The challenge is a team competition with four players per team, and each school may send as many teams as it cares to. There are three rounds:

-Individual:  Ten problems are distributed one at a time, each with a timelimit ranging from three to five minutes.

-Team: A packet of five problems is given to each team.  Each team works in a private room for forty-five minutes and attempts to solve as many of the problems as they can.

-Relay: The players arrange themselves in a row. Each player on the team is given a different question. Player 4 needs Player 3's answer to solve their problem, Player 3 needs Player 2's answer, and so on.


We award the top three scorers in the individual round and the three teams with the highest aggregate score. The results were:

-The first place individual was Maggie Wang from Houghton Central High School.

-The second place individual was Noah Gershenson from Houghton Central High School.

-The third place individual was Shweta Pati from Houghton Central High School.


-The first place team was "Houghton Black" from Houghton Central High School.

-The second place team was "We Needed Four" from Ishpeming High School -The third place team was "Weapons of Mass Destruction 4 " from Escanaba Area Public High School.


The winning school, Houghton Central High School, will get to display the Traveling Trophy until next year's challenge, at which time they will have to compete for it again.

The Traveling Trophy was a gift to the Math Challenge by Professor Emeritus, John O. Kiltinen.


An event like this is completely impossible without the tremendous effort by NMU student volunteers, NMU faculty volunteers, and their families and friends. Many of the moving pieces on game day are entirely run by NMU student volunteers. These students emcee the events, grade all of the problems, organize the lunch, and proctor the competitions, including the logistically complicated relay round.

This year's NMU student volunteers were:

Chris Canchola, Breah Carter, Katie Cattani, Dylan Dowrick, Erik Flinn, Jill Florence, Brendan Gregory, Carly Johnson, Adam Kall, Nick Kuhl, Chloe Lewis, Katelyn Liubakka, Chris Lodge, Christian MacDonald, Megan McCormick, Megan McGuire, Michaela McLeod, Jordan Mohr, Michael Musolf, Alyssa Sawyer, Ellie Soper, Graham Steinhauer, Ashley Tompkins, Anthony Webb, Annika Wheeler, and Taylor Wilber.

The NMU Faculty volunteers were:

-Associate Professor Bao Truong, who handled the photography, served on the problem selection committee, and during the event ran around looking after logistics with his wife Nhan and new baby Ann.

-Associate Professor Amy Barnsley, who gathered many student volunteers through the Elementary Education Math Club that she advises, served on the problem selection committee, and assisted in the grading room.

-Instructor Richard Balding, who played an instrumental role assisting Dr. House in the grading room during the event.

-Professor Emeritus Peggy House, who created and typed many of the problems and solutions, and offered vital wisdom relating to the final drafting of the problems. She also completely organized and ran the grading room during the event, including tabulating all of the final scores and data.

-Instructor Rosanne M. Parks, who handled every conceivable logistical detail. She served on the problem selection committee and meticulously organized the Jamrich room assignments and seat assignments. She was vital to organizing the NMU student volunteers. During the event, she is the glue that holds everything together. Her husband Andy was also a huge help during the event, for example, when he found out that he needed to sharpen around 60 pencils in less than 10 minutes!

-Professor Andrew Poe, the creator of the U.P. High School Math Challenge, who has been the principal organizer of the event for the last seven iterations, was an invaluable resource to me during this year's preparations. His sage wisdom about the event, combined with his help in problem selection, writing the relays and solutions, and running the projection station, were fundamental to the success of this eighth challenge. His wife Diane also very generously donated delicious cookies for lunch during the event.

-Finally, I served this year as the principal organizer and the primary contact to the high schools. I served on the problem selection committee, created some of the individual and team problems, as well as the sudden death problem. My role during the challenge was to oversee the smooth functioning of the event, manage the student volunteers (along with Mrs. Parks), make decisions about how to deal with certain issues, and to proctor the sudden death round.


Thanks also to Administrative Assistant Kristi Poupore for handling matters related to the budget for this event. A special thanks is due to Principal Secretary Katrina Keough for coordinating with dining services, receiving registrations from the schools, ordering medals, and assembling all the printed problems and relays.


Thanks also to Department Head & Professor J.D. Phillips (who was on guard during the relay round), Dean Robert Winn, and Provost Kerri Schuiling for providing funding for this event.


I was handed the reins to the challenge this year, and I hope that I steered the buggy well. I want to sincerely thank Peggy House, Roseanne Parks, and Andrew Poe for teaching me the ins and outs of running this complex event succesfully. I am especially grateful to Andrew Poe for letting me have this opportunity.

I am already looking forward to next year's ninth annual U.P. High School Math Challenge!


Daniel Rowe, PhD

Assistant Professor, Mathematics

Northern Michigan University




View the winners from previous years: