The results of the 2016-17 Mendocino College math contest series were announced recently, and two students tied and were named co-champions. The winners, Deanna Powell and Possatorn “Blues” Sutcharitchun, each solved 28 of the 30 weekly puzzles.
Tied for first runner-up, with 14 puzzles solved, were Ari Sunbeam and Elios Sgouros. Forty students submitted correct solutions to at least one of the contests.
Deanna Powell is a native of Clearlake and a current Lake County resident. She has been at Mendocino College for three semesters, and after two more semesters she plans to transfer to a university, possibly UC Davis, and major in Engineering, possibly Electrical, en route to becoming an engineer.
“I love a good puzzle,” commented Powell, adding that she shares the puzzles with friends, who have also become hooked on them.
Possatorn “Blues” Sutcharitchun is a native of Thailand. He’s been in the USA for five years and is in his fourth year at Mendocino College. This fall he will transfer to UC Davis, where he plans to major in Biological Science before attending medical school to become a doctor.
About the contests, Sutcharitchun stated, “It’s a fun thing to do during free time. Anyone can do it; it doesn’t require higher math.”
Math professor Deborah White, who runs the contests, had high praise for both Powell and Sutcharitchun. “Obviously they are both spectacular students, and in addition they don’t give up when faced with a challenge. Being able to discuss the puzzles with them has both helped me and encouraged me to continue running the contest.”
The puzzles come from a variety of branches of mathematics. A typical one asks students to find the next number in this sequence: 1, 2, 9, 64, 625, 7776 (Answer: 117,649).