Overview of Colorado Math Awards
Since its founding in 1996, Colorado Mathematics Awards (CMA) has tracked performance by Colorado middle school, high school, and college undergraduate students in national and international mathematics competitions and has conducted an annual awards program to honor outstanding students and their teachers and coaches.
The first CMA event was held at the Governor’s Mansion; 40 students from middle school, high school, and undergraduate programs were honored. Excellence in mathematics was recognized through five competitive national and international examinations. Today, we track performance in eleven national competitions for middle school and high school students and three national and international competitions for college undergraduates.
Nine of the 11 national competitions for middle school and high school students are sponsored by the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC)—a program of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and 15 other professional organizations. The sequence of AMC- sponsored exams culminates in selecting a team of six high school students to represent the United States at the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) each year.
Colorado Mathematics Awards is governed by a Steering Committee of volunteers, including two past presidents of the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics and a past chair of the Rocky Mountain Section of the MAA. The Fort Lewis College Foundation in Durango is our fiscal agent.
National & International Math Competitions Tracked by CMA
[Unless otherwise indicated, all competitions are sponsored by the American Mathematics Competitions (AMC)—a program of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and 15 other professional organizations.]
ELEVEN National Competitions for Middle School and High School Students
MATHCOUNTS — open to middle school students, with individual and team competitions at local, regional, and state levels; 4-person state teams compete for a national championship. Sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). The Colorado MATHCOUNTS program is sponsored by the Colorado chapter of the NSPE.
AMC 8 — A 25-question, 40-minute multiple-choice exam; open to students in grade 8 or below.
AMC 10 A & B — A 25-question, 75-minute multiple-choice exam, offered on two different dates; open to students in grade 10 or below.
AMC 12 A & B — A 25-question, 75-minute multiple-choice exam, offered on two different dates; open to students in grade 12 or below.
Young Women in Mathematics (YWM) — In each of the 29 sections of the MAA, the top five scorers in each AMC exam listed above receive certificates. the top five national finishers in each exam receive $1,000 scholarships.
American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) — for top students in AMC 10 and 12. A 15-question, 3-hour exam; each answer is a whole number between 0 and 999.
USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad (USAJMO) — for top students in AIME and AMC 10. A six-question, two-day, 9-hour essay/proof examination for 230-240 top students.
USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) — for top students in AIME and AMC 12. A six-question, two-day, 9-hour essay/proof examination for 260-270 top students. Top finishers are invited to a 3-week intensive summer program to select and train the six members of the U.S. team for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).
American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) — open to 15-member teams of high school students that compete nationally at one of four regional sites. The contest is sponsored by D. E. Shaw & Co., with support from the American Mathematical Society and others.
THREE Competitions for Undergraduate College Students
William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition — a six-hour, 12-question essay examination in December; open to college undergraduates in the United States and Canada.
Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) and the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM) — a 100-hour contest over a long weekend in February for 3-person college undergraduate and high school teams to use applied mathematics to solve their choice of one of six real-world problems. Three MCM problems challenge students to clarify, analyze, and propose solutions to open-ended problems, while three ICM problems are designed to develop and advance interdisciplinary problem-solving skills as well as competence in written communication. These two international contests are sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP).