SMS scnews item created by Duncan Sutherland at Wed 30 Sep 2009 1440
Type: Seminar
Distribution: World
Expiry: 7 Oct 2009
Calendar1: 7 Oct 2009 1300-1400
CalLoc1: Carslaw 350
Auth: duncans@pduncans.pc (assumed)

SUMS -- Maths relay

Hello everyone, 

I hope that you are all enjoying your your mid-semester break.  There are only 4 more
weeks left until the end of lectures, so that means that there are only a few more SUMS
Meetings left.  We’re hoping that these last few will be high quality.  

Firstly, in Week 10 (the first week after the mid-sem break, so next week), we will be
having a MATHS RELAY.  For those unaware of what a maths relay is, here’s a brief

- Competitors form teams and compete against other teams to solve maths problems.  

-Problems are given to teams one at a time (so initially they only have Problem 1).
Once a team solves the problem or pass on it, they are given the next problem.  

- The problems are worth varying points (usually the initial problems are worth low
points, and generally increase in value as the problems get harder), and the team with
the most points at the end, wins.  

- Each problem will contain a single answer (usually some number), no proofs will be
needed (so guessing the answer may be a strategy, although usually this isn’t

All of the problems will only require high school mathematics to solve, so don’t worry
if you haven’t yet taken Advanced Vector Calculus or Lagrangian Dynamics.  You won’t
need them.  However, some rules for this relay (note that these rules may change, in
which case I will inform you): 

* Teams can have a maximum of 3 members (of course you can have less than 3 if you
wish).  Teams should also have a team name (if not, we will assign a name at the
relay).  If you form your team prior to the relay, we would prefer it if you notify us
of your team and team name beforehand (by emailing us), as we then have less to organise
on the actual relay day (which means a better run relay).  If you wish to participate in
the relay but are not in a team, email us and we shall put you in a team.  If you wish
to compete but you do not want to be in a team, that’s fine too, just make sure you tell
us.  Teams or individuals that turn up to the relay without prior notification are
allowed as well, but please try to turn up on time.  

* Once you submit the correct answer for a problem, you are given the next problem.
Alternately, if you are stuck on a problem, you may choose to skip it, and get the next
problem.  Skipped problems are not penalised (as in, no points are deducted), however
you cannot return to the problem later.  

* You may have as many guesses as you wish for each question.  Teams will not be
penalised for incorrect guesses.  

* Your submitted guess should be written on the paper with the problem on it.  You can
only guess one at a time.  If you wish to make another guess (after an incorrect one),
you must return to your team table and write down your new guess (and cross out the
previous guess).  Anything else that you have written on the paper should be crossed

* The relay will be held in Carslaw 350, next Wednesday from 1-2pm (the usual
place/time).  The relay itself will probably take about 40 minutes.  

* There will be prizes, probably not just for first place either! 

If you have any queries or you wish to enter, please email us (
The more participants, the better! 

Event: MATHS RELAY Location: Carslaw 350 Date/Time: Wednesday, October 7, 1-2pm 

Hope to see you there! 

SUMS President 

P.S.  As the title says, our AGM will be in Week 12, and the SUMS Concert will be in
Week 13.  More details on that to come later!

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