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About NYSMATYC Math League

After a panel discussion on mathematics competition at the 1970 Annual NYSMATYC Conference, eight New York State community colleges agreed to hold a math contest in the spring of 1970. A total of fifty students participated in the contest. The winning team was from Jamestown Community College. This event represented the beginning of the Two-Year College Mathematics League.

The 1970-71 academic year was the first full year of competition. Four contests were to be administered each year. Carmine DeSanto (Nassau Community College) was coordinator of the League, a position he would maintain until 1977. Expenses incurred by the League (mailing, prizes, printing, etc.) were paid by NYSMATYC and the MATYC Journal.

Unfortunately, only four New York State community colleges participated in the 1970-71 competition. It was agreed that in order to arouse greater interest and competition, membership in the League be extended to all two-year colleges in the nation. The name was changed to the National Student Two- Year College Mathematics League.

Over the next several years, membership in the Math League increased slowly but steadily. By 1977, twenty one two-year colleges were participating in the Math League including seven New York State colleges. In 1978, the sponsorship of the National Math League was assumed by AMATYC.

In 1980, the NYSMATYC Executive Board decided to form a Mathematics League for New York State two-year colleges. Such a league would provide a challenge and inspire interest in mathematics as well as provide friendly competition among the two-year colleges in the state. Colleges could elect to participate in the national competition, as well. Don Cohen (SUNY Cobleskill) agreed to coordinate the state competition.

The 1980-81 academic year was the first year of activity. Two contests were administered-- the first in the fall and the second in the spring. The combined scores of the top five scorers from each college comprised the total team score. This format has continued to the present. Seven two-year colleges participated, with Corning Community College emerging as the winner. The winning team received a plaque and members of the winning team received t-shirt awards. The top five scorers received a pen set.

Under the leadership of Don Cohen from 1980-1982 and subsequent direction given by Tom Enderli (Alfred, 1982-1983), Richard Rupprecht (Jamestown Community College, 1983-1986), Paul O'Heron (Broome Community College, 1986-1990), Joan Shack (Hudson Valley Community College, 1990-1992), Don Willner (Mohawk Valley Community College, 1992-2009), and Abe Mantell (Nassau Community College, 2009-present), the Math League has grown to over five-hundred students (and sometimes over seven-hundred!) from twenty-seven two-year colleges participating in the competition. One of the highlights of the Annual Spring Conference is the announcement of the winning team along with the individual winners.

A traveling team plaque resides at the campus of the winning team each year. Prizes for the ten top- scoring individual contestants (combined fall/spring contest scores) have included mathematics software (such as Maple, MathCAD, Derive, Scientific Notebook, and Minitab), calculators (Texas Instruments) and selections from mathematics, science, and computer books.