Integration Bee day!

Happy Math Awareness Month!  (Were you aware of that?) It’s Integration Bee day here at Norwich!  I look forward to this all year.

Integration is something learned in Calculus I courses and really worked on in Calculus II.  Integration means to compute an integral, a generalization of area, and one of the difficult parts of early Calculus courses.   Students will tell you, though, that there’s nothing like the feeling of making it through one alive.

This is the 9th year we’ve done this here, and the turnout keeps growing.  Right now we have nearly 70 students signed up to have some fun doing integrals — a big increase from the 20 we got in 2003!  Even if only 2/3 of the folks show up, this will be our biggest field ever.

We got the idea to do this from an article in the MAA FOCUS magazine back in 2002 and I have to tell you, this was a good move on our part.  Just to see students — math majors, engineers, technical majors — coming and actually having fun with calculus is a great thing.  There’s lots of excitement, thrill of victory, agony of defeat, commiseration, cheering.

We’ve also had a lot of great supporters over the years.  Wolfram Research has helped us out every year we’ve done this, and their donations of Mathematica licenses and other goodies has been a real enticement.  Former Dean of the David Crawford School of Engineering, Dennis Tyner, and his wife Patti, were big supporters from the get-go, especially because their daughters competed in all the earliest bees.  The Tyners now donate money toward a prize for the “most spirited” competitors in the Integration Bee.

Many other institutions and businesses, on- and off-campus, have donated prizes throughout the years.

If you’re in or around Northfield tonight at 7:30, come on by Cabot Science 085 to watch the Integration Bee!

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About Rob Poodiack

Associate Professor of Mathematics and current Chair of the Northeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America.
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