Herbert Morrison Technical wins 4th Annual UTech, Jamaica Mathematics Competition
Mathematical brilliance was on display at the exciting finish of the 4th Annual UTech, Jamaica Mathematics Quiz Competition, which saw both finalist student teams from Herbert Morrison Technical High and St Jago High schools tied at 12 points after regulation match time. But it was the response to the logic-based question, ‘What is the contrapositive for the statement: if water is frozen, then its temperature is below zero degrees Celsius?’ by Jemoy Jarrett of Herbert Morrison Technical High that pipped the school’s win over St Jago High in the knockout tie-breaker round played at the University of Technology, Jamaica Papine campus on Thursday, December 15.
He answered correctly: “Its temperature is not below zero degrees Celsius, then it is not frozen.”
The 30-minute final match was played in three thrilling Schools Challenge-style rounds, with each team answering questions from the CSEC and CAPE Level 1 and 2 mathematics curricula posed by quiz master Judith DeLisser, lecturer at the School of Mathematics and Statistics (SOMAS), Faculty of Science and Sport, UTech, Jamaica. Both teams impressed with their quick responses, showing competency in such areas as trigonometry, complex numbers, functions, probability, polynomials, logic, and differential equations.
The three top schools received trophies, cash prizes and gifts provided through the support of sponsors CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, Bryan Studios Ltd, H&L Ultimate Touch Promotion, and Bureau of Standards Jamaica. All participating students received a certificate of participation.
The 4th UTech, Jamaica Mathematics Quiz Competition, which had its inaugural staging in 2017 and has been on hiatus for the past two years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, began with the preliminary round, comprising nine high schools from across Jamaica, on November 26. The competing schools were Calabar High School, Merl Grove High School, Clarendon College, St George’s College, Bishop Gibson High School (for Girls), Belair High School, Alpha Academy, St Jago High School and Herbert Morrison Technical High School.
The second runner-up place was awarded to St George’s College, while Merl Grove High School rounded out the top four schools.
Professor Colin Gyles, acting president of UTech, Jamaica, in his welcome remarks, noted that “the UTech, Jamaica Mathematics Quiz Competition is part of the university’s thrust to promote and develop awareness of mathematics as a tool for problem-solving across all disciplines”.
He added that “the competition is also intended to generate a cultural change and love for mathematics in Jamaica, and to foster an acceptance of mathematics as a way of life”.
The Ministry of Education and Youth reiterated its endorsement of the competition in greetings brought by Camae Johnson-Burrell, regional mathematics coordinator, Region 6, who spoke on behalf of national mathematics coordinator Dr Tameka Benjamin. She congratulated the university on implementing theMathematics Quiz Competition, noting its alignment with the ministry’s aim to find ways to make mathematics more “fun, attractive, and less intimidating”, especially for students and the wider population of Jamaica.