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APSU math students dominate 'Math Jeopardy' contest at math conference

In Jeopardy game show fashion, what is the question to the following answer: The number of hands containing two distinct pairs but no triple that can be dealt in five cards from a deck of 52 cards.

As the answers that the teams gave to the above final-round question were revealed, the Austin Peay State University math team was the only team to respond correctly to win the Math Jeopardy contest, a highlight of the Mathematical Association of America Southeastern Section conference held March 13-14 at Belmont University.
In “Jeopardy” game show fashion, what is the question to the following answer: The number of hands containing two distinct pairs but no triple that can be dealt in five cards from a deck of 52 cards.

As the answers that the teams gave to the above final-round question were revealed, the Austin Peay State University math team was the only team to respond correctly to win the Math Jeopardy contest, a highlight of the Mathematical Association of America Southeastern Section conference held March 13-14 at Belmont University.

More than 400 professors and students in mathematics from Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina attended the conference. APSU mathematics faculty presenting talks were Ramanjit Sahi, Yuriy Bulka and Ben Ntatin. Nell Rayburn presented a short course. Students from Austin Peay presenting were Zachary Hodge and Scott Swindell.

Math Jeopardy involved 24 teams from 22 schools. APSU team members Jonathan Fisher, Casey McKnight, Michael Northington and Emily Stone correctly answered multiple questions in the preliminary and final rounds.

Jim Vandergriff, professor of computer science and conference program chair, said the APSU team captured the attention of many professors attending.

“The performance of our team in the preliminary round was so solid and known throughout the conference attendees that one of our organizers introduced Ramanjit Sahi, who was one of our speakers, this way, ‘Our next speaker is Ramanjit Sahi from Austin Peay, the home of the ‘Jeopardy' powerhouse,'” Vandergriff said.

The APSU team finished with a landslide victory. The team's final score was 2,700 points, while the second-place team had a score of zero. While the final Math Jeopardy question was not necessary, since APSU was the only team with a positive score, the moderator decided to ask the final question to give the other teams an opportunity to reposition the standings.

Video coverage of the Math Jeopardy contest, filmed by Yuriy Bulka, APSU assistant professor of math and the coach of the Jeopardy team, can be seen at http://mathjeopardyfan.blip.tv.

By the way, here's the question to the answer that catapulted APSU to win the Math Jeopardy title: What is 13 choose 2 times 4 choose 2 times 4 choose 2 times 44 choose 1? -- Melony Shemberger