posted May 6, 2002

Hope Students Win Math Competition

A three-member student team from Hope College has won this year's Lower Michigan Mathematics Competition.

A total of 31 teams from 11 colleges and universities competed in the event, held at Olivet College on Saturday, April 6.

The winning Hope team consisted of Stefan Coltisor of Bucharest, Romania, who recently completed his freshman year; Caleb Gleason of Hudsonville, who recently completed his junior year; and Richard Smith of Athens, N.Y., a member of the graduating Class of 2002.

Two other Hope teams also competed in this year's Lower Michigan Mathematics Competition. The team of Joel Berrier and Heidi Libner tied for 20th/21st, and the team of Henry Gould and Mike Rininger tied for 22nd/23rd. Berrier is from Michigan City, Ind., and a member of the graduating Class of 2002; Gould is from Zeeland and recently completed his freshman year; Libner is from Park Ridge, Ill., and recently completed her freshman year; and Rininger is from Holland and recently completed his freshman year.

In addition to Hope, the colleges and universities that fielded teams included Albion College, Alma College, Calvin College, Grand Valley State University, Kalamazoo College, Lawrence Tech, Olivet College, Saginaw Valley State University, the University of Michigan at Dearborn and the University of Michigan at Flint.

The Lower Michigan Mathematics Competition results represent a second strong showing in mathematics this year for Hope students. In December, Peter Van Wylen of Holland, who recently completed his freshman year, finished in the top 13 among students from participating Michigan colleges and universities in the nationwide William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition.

Van Wylen's score on the Putnam exam was 22 out of a possible 120 points, ranking him 365th out of the 2,954 students who took the exam nationwide. In addition, Dana Ranschaert of Holland, a member of the graduating Class of 2002, earned one point on the exam, ranking in the top half (1,470th) of those who took the exam. Typically, more than half of the students who take the exam score zero, and the top score this year was 101.

The college's team of students taking the Putnam exam ranked in the top half, 148th, of the 336 teams participating. In addition to Ranschaert and Van Wylen, the Hope students who competed were: Berrier; Coltisor; Carrie Halvorsen of Traverse City, who recently completed her sophomore year; and Brian Yurk of Schoolcraft, who recently completed his junior year.