A team of three Valparaiso University students took first place in the Indiana Collegiate Mathematics Competition, which is sponsored each year by the Indiana Section of the Mathematics Association of America.

Timothy Goodrich, Michael Stuck and Ruyue “Julia” Yuan achieved a higher score than nearly 100 students in 35 teams from across the state of Indiana to become the first team from Valpo to win the competition in more than 40 years. The team’s final score was 62/80, more than twice the average team score.

Ken Luther, chair of the department of mathematics and computer science at Valpo, said the competition reflects the hard work and dedication of the students who have developed problem solving skills through a variety of mathematics courses. Each team must work together to complete upper-level math problems.

For Yuan, a Christ College honors student majoring in mathematics with minors in engineering and applied statistics, the competition furthered her enthusiasm for mathematics. She is also a math tutor at Valpo and said that she loves sharing her passion for math with other students and helping them to gain a better understanding of the subject.

Yuan said that she met with Goodrich and Stuck, along with fellow students Adam Clark and Will Olson, on a weekly basis to practice problem solving. Because the students enjoy math so much, Yuan said the preparation was a fun experience that was not at all stressful or intense.

“It’s such a blessing to talk about math with these dedicated colleagues,” Yuan said. “And winning this competition really puts us together—we are happy for each other just as for ourselves. Winning first place is an honor; it’s more of a fun teamwork experience and a pleasant surprise for me.”

Known as the “Friendly Competition,” the Indiana Collegiate Mathematics Competition emphasizes teamwork and collaboration over individual accomplishments. Each year, students and teachers come together to share a mutual love of mathematics problem solving and collaboration.