Mathematics and Statistics program holds fifth annual integration bee

Apr 28, 2021 | Engineering and Science, Students

The Louisiana Tech University Mathematics and Statistics program held its fifth annual Integration Bee April 19.

Each Integration Bee begins with a qualification round, consisting of a timed 25-question paper test, after which the top 16 scoring participants move to a tournament round. The 2021 tournament consisted of five rounds, in which students competed for Amazon, Chili’s, Chick-Fil-A, and Starbucks gift cards in one-on-one challenges. For each challenge, a pair of students stood at whiteboards and each worked to quickly solve complex integrals in a high-pressure atmosphere.

This year’s Master Integrator was Elizabeth McDowell, physics and aviation freshman and first-ever female Integration Bee champion.

Last year’s Supreme Champion Pierce Miller, electrical engineering junior earned second place. Third place went to Ian Golsby, electrical engineering freshman, and Brady Duplessis, chemical engineering sophomore earned fourth.

“I participated in the integration bee because it sounded like fun and why not?,” McDowell said. “I was also motivated by the chance to win a gift card. Events like this are a fun way to use a skill like math outside of a class.”

Miller, whose parents joined the Integration Bee audience through Zoom, says that he participated in the event for similar reasons.

“Events like the Integration Bee allow students a chance to stand out to their professors and peers outside of class and give students a chance to let their hard work be seen. The College of Engineering and Science has given me the chance to grow my natural abilities and giftings. I’m excited to continue my career as a Louisiana Tech electrical engineer.”

“Integration is a pillar of calculus,” added Dr. Jonathan Walters, lecturer of mathematics and statistics and faculty organizer of the event. “In this competition, students get to work through complex problems as quickly as possible in a single-elimination bracket that provides a sense of excitement.”

Mathematics and Statistics faculty Dr. Joseph Cortez, lecturer, Dr. Dave Meng, program chair and senior lecturer, and Dr. David Irakiza, lecturer and master’s degree coordinator, helped coordinate the event.