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Teens to Match Wits in Math Contest

About 100 high school students will compete at Westmont’s 34th annual Mathematics Field Day on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 1-5:15 p.m. in Winter Hall. Team and individual awards will be handed out at a banquet, featuring Erik Lucero, site lead of Google Quantum AI in Santa Barbara, from 5:30–6:30 p.m. in Westmont’s Global Leadership Center.

Math Contest Fibonacci 34 T-shirt

Teams will compete from eight regional high schools, including La Cañada, Dos Pueblos, Cate, Providence, Santa Barbara, Oaks Christian, Laguna Blanca and San Marcos.

Since it’s the 34th year of the contest, this year’s Chalk Talk, a 10-12-minute student presentation, will be about Fibonacci numbers because 34 is a Fibonacci number. “The sequence of Fibonacci numbers starts with 1, 1,” says Anna Aboud, who chairs Westmont’s mathematics department. “After this, each subsequent term is obtained by adding the two previous terms. Thus, the sequence continues with 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, etc.”

This year’s T-shirt design has a picture of the Fibonacci spiral as well as a formula for the nth Fibonacci number. “Using squares of side lengths given by the Fibonacci numbers, you can draw a Fibonacci spiral, which approximates the golden spiral, a prominent shape found in nature and art,” Aboud says.

The Field Day also features the annual College Bowl competition complete with buzzers, modeled after the 1960’s TV show, College Bowl.

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