Krista Foster and Jared Ruiz, both of Girard, were among a team of Youngstown State University students who recently finished in the top third in a prestigious North American mathematics competition involving nearly 3,700 participants from more than 400 colleges.
Foster and Ruiz were among a group of seven local students who participated in the 2008 William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition, a contest for college students in the United States and Canada. Each year, on the first Saturday in December, students spend six hours in two sittings trying to solve 12 problems. Each problem is worth 10 points, so scores range from 0 to 120. This year, about 1,710 students - or nearly half of the participants - received 0 points.
In addition to Foster and Ruiz, John Hoffman of Poland, Ryan Livingston of Hubbard, Matthew Alexander of Crawford, Pa., Tyler Drombosky of Boardman, and Moriah Wright of Ashtabula also were part of the team.
Overall, the YSU team finished in the top 28 percent of all teams in the competition. Jacek Fabrykowski, professor of mathematics and statistics, helped prepare the team for the competition.
Hoffman finished ranked in the top 23 percent of all participants, while Livingston and Alexander each finished ranked in the top 33 percent.
"This is exceptional work on the part of our students in this prestigious competition," said Tom Smotzer, YSU professor of mathematics and statistics. "Congratulations are in order to all participants on a job very well done."