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Information and Details

The Day of the Exam

The David Essner Mathematics Competition XXXIX will take place 9am-12:30pm, Saturday February 8, 2020 in a to-be-determined location at the University of Miami. (Exact time and location subject to change.)

Participants should:

  • report to the competition venue before 8:40 am for sign-in,
  • bring identification (such as School ID or a driver's license), and
  • bring writing tools (sharpened pencils, pens, erasers).

It is not mandatory for the supervisors to attend.  

Map of TBA Location


Parking information will be updated here prior to the exam.  Regardles, please consult here for details about parking on campus as policies continue to change.

Important Dates

Friday January 24, 2020: Deadline for list of Participating Students
Saturday February 8, 2020: Essner Competition

The Competition

The Competition begins with a lecture introducing the topic of the exam. Thereafter, there is a 1 hour exam consisting of a couple of problems whose solutions require creative mathematical thought. Solutions are evaluated on clarity of presentation and logical arguments as well as correctness of the final answer. A correct answer without coherent justification may receive a low evaluation.

The exam does not require calculus and may be solved using ideas that, in addition to what's presented in the preceding lecture, an honors student with experience in high school honors algebra and pre-calculus should have encountered. Refer to the Final Exams in the Past Exams link above for examples of the level of questions. The use of calculators or other such assistance tools is not permitted.

After a short break, there will be a second presentation followed by an awards ceremony.


The competition is open to all secondary schools, public and private, in Miami-Dade County. Each participating school must select a Supervisor (such as a mathematics teacher) who determines the participating students from their school, and acts as a liason between these participating students and the Competition Administrators.

A student who wishes to participate must obtain approval of their school's supervisor.

Beginning with Competition XXXV, no student may participate in more than 4 competitions.

Instructions for Supervisors

Determine the participating students from their school.

We recommend a limit of 5 participating students per school. In unusual situations the supervisor may be permitted to send up to 5 additional students.

The determination of the participating students is at the Supervisor's discretion. Students who are both interested in the kinds of problems on the previous final exams and able to craft solutions to several of these are perhaps more likely to perform well on the upcoming competition.

Inform the Competition Administrators of the participating students.

By Friday January 24, 2020, email the list of names of your school's participating students to the Competition Administrators. (

The Essner Competition Administrators

Dr. Subramanian Ramakrishnan, Dr. Kenneth Baker, and Dr. Morgan Brown

Contact Information

The David Essner Mathematics Competition 
Department of Mathematics, University of Miami 
1365 Memorial Drive, Ungar 515 
Coral Gables, FL 33146