Purple Comet! book soars into publication

    July 12, 2013

    After 10 years of perplexing students around the globe, all the problems from the popular Purple Comet! Math Meet are now available in a comprehensive book.

    Written by Jonathan Kane and Titu Andreescu, "Purple Comet! Math Meet: The First Ten Years" contains all the problems and solutions from the online competition since it was founded at UW-Whitewater in 2003.

    Kane, a professor of mathematics and computer science who retired from UW-Whitewater in 2012, said the book is simply for people who love math. He said math teachers can use the book to provide their students with interesting and varied problems to work with.

    "It's nice to have a stimulating activity for students to enjoy," Kane said. "It shows them why they need to study math and why it is important. It also shows that they can have a lot of fun with math."

    What started as a small competition has now turned into a worldwide phenomenon. In 2012, more than 2,750 teams from 43 countries competed, including teams from Afghanistan, Greece, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Vietnam, Mexico, China, Macau, Paraguay, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

    The free online math meet is open to all middle and high school students. Kane said it challenges students and encourages team collaboration, and continues to grow as more teams and countries begin to participate.

    Andreescu, an associate professor of mathematics at the University of Texas-Dallas and formerly of UW-Whitewater, co-authored the book.

    AwesomeMath, an organization in Texas that runs a three-week summer program for mathematically gifted students from around the world, currently runs the competition. Andreescu is director of AwesomeMath.

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