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April 18, 2006
Contact: Jeremy L. Martin, assistant professor of mathematics, (785) 864-7114.

It all adds up: Six KU undergraduates share $1,500 in prizes at math competition

LAWRENCE — Six University of Kansas students shared $1,500 in prizes at the 24th annual KU Undergraduate Mathematics Prize Competition held March 28. Students will receive their awards at the annual Department of Mathematics banquet at 7 p.m. April 25 at the Adams Alumni Center.

In the senior-level competition, open to all KU undergraduates, Xiaobang Yue, senior in computer engineering from the Sichuan province of China, won the $450 first prize. Yue has been a top winner in previous years. Last year, he won a $300 special junior-level prize and first prizes in the 2003 and 2004 junior competitions.

Jeff Bergfalk, Mission senior in English and mathematics, won the $300 second prize in senior-level competition. Last year he also won second in senior competition; previously in the junior level, he won first in 2001 and 2002 and second in 2004.

Luis Carlos Vargas, Wichita senior in astronomy, won the $150 third prize.

For the second consecutive year, Brian P. Moehring, Olathe junior in mathematics and physics, won the $300 junior-level competition for all KU undergraduates who are not seniors.

Bowe I. Neuenschwander, Hoxie freshman in computer engineering, won the $200 second prize and Nick Tobaben, Topeka sophomore, won the $100 third prize.

The written examination for each competition consists of six questions that must be completed in three hours. The junior-level competition requires knowledge of first-year calculus. Senior-level contests may cover material in all KU undergraduate math courses. Five contestants entered the senior-level competition and seven entered the junior competition, according to Jeremy L. Martin, assistant professor of mathematics and competition coordinator.

Winning students, majors and year in school, parents’ names and high schools, if available, are listed below by hometown.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Mission
Jeff Bergfalk, senior in English and mathematics, son of Jan Hodgson; Pembroke Hill School, Kansas City, Mo.; $300 second prize in senior-level competition.

From Olathe
Brian P. Moehring, junior in mathematics and physics; son of Rick and Dene Moehring; Olathe South High School; $300 first prize in junior-level competition.

SEDGWICK COUNTY
From Wichita (ZIP 67212)
Luis Carlos Vargas, senior in astronomy, son of Luis and Romana Vargas; Wichita High School Northwest; $150 prize in senior-level competition.

SHERIDAN COUNTY
From Hoxie
Bowe I. Neuenschwander, sophomore in computer engineering, son of Karl and Marie Neuenschwander; Hoxie High School; $200 second prize in junior-level competition.

SHAWNEE COUNTY
From Topeka
Nicholas Edward “Nick” Tobaben, Topeka sophomore in mathematics, son of Jim and Anita Tobaben; Shawnee Heights Senior High School; $100 third prize in junior-level competition.

CHINA
From Chindu, Sichuan
Xiaobang Yue, senior in computer engineering, son of Huanxun Yue; attended high school in China; $450 first prize in senior-level competition.

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