Main | Details | Past Exams | Winners | Essner Talks

Information and Details

The Day of the Exam

The David Essner Mathematics Competition XXXVII will take place 9am-noon, Saturday October 14, 2017 in the Cox Science Building at the University of Miami. (Exact time and location subject to change.)

Participants should:

  • report to the lobby of the Cox Science Building 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.  


The Cox Science Building houses the Department of Biology. There is ample parking in the lot just southeast of San Amaro Dr and Robbia Ave. Extra parking may be found south of the School of Law.  Please consult here for further details about parking on campus.

Important Dates

Sept 29, 2017: Deadline for list of Participating Students
October 14, 2017: Essner Competition
November TBA, 2017: Awards Ceremony

The Competition

The Competition is a 3 hour written exam consisting of a handful 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 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. The use of calculators or other such assistance tools is not permitted.


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. One possibility is to administer a past exam or a collection of problems from an assortment of past exams as a preliminary exam. 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 September 29, 2017, email the list of names of your school's participating students to the Competition Administrators. (

The Essner Competition Administrators

Dr. Paul McDougle, 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