The Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences (FNAS), Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), organized for the first time on March 12, 2018, a Mathematics competition for high school students. Eighteen 11th and 12th graders representing different schools in Lebanon participated. The schools included Elysée School, Sainte Famille Francaise Jounieh School, Saints-Coeurs Kfarhbab School, and Notre Dame de Louaize School.
The main goal of the competition was to trigger students’ interest in Mathematics and help them learn more about the Mathematics programs offered at NDU as well as to encourage them to embark on future careers in this field. This competition not only created an interactive Mathematics platform but also introduced students to the field and gave them incentives choose it as a major.
NDU Mathematics alumnus and Chair of the Mathematics Department at the American University of Beirut (AUB) Dr. Wissam Raji began with a lecture. He explained the importance of Mathematics and why it is highly recommended to major in Mathematics and then to pursue graduate studies in the discipline.
In the second part of the event, a 90-minute, 17-question competition was held. The goal was to challenge students to clarify, analyze, and propose solutions to some basic and fun questions. Immediately following the test, the competition’s organizing committee, composed of Dr. Roger Nakad (chair), Dr. Jessica Merhej, and Dr. Joseph Malkoun, graded the tests. During the marking process, participants enjoyed refreshments while exploring the University Mathematics programs and financial aids brochures, and spend time solving some topological brainteasers.
Winners were announced and prizes were distributed in the third and final part of the event. Elias Moussa (Sainte Famille Francaise Jounieh) secured first place and received an anti-theft backpack. Asharaf Fawaz (Elysée School) took second and received a portable bluetooth speaker. Rawad Najem (Sainte Famille Francaise Jounieh) took third and received an iPhone retro deck. All other participants were awarded a ‘Certificate of Participation’ and some expressed interest in joining the Mathematics program at NDU.
This hugely successful and well-organized competition fruitfully attracted a wealth of participants from across Lebanon and established the cornerstone for more extensive future events.