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MATH WHIZ SUBTRACTS MORE THAN 700,000 PUPILS FROM CONTEST

SHARE MATH WHIZ SUBTRACTS MORE THAN 700,000 PUPILS FROM CONTEST

Brian Jenkins, a 14-year-old eighth-grader from Malvern, Ark., was named the nation's outstanding junior high school mathematician Friday in competition with students from all 50 states.

Brian, whose father is a forester and whose mother is a nurse, defeated 223 other finalists in the seventh annual Mathcounts contest for students in grades seven and eight.

"You need math for every job that exists _ even for sports," he said.

In the final round of oral competition, Brian answered 22 questions correctly, defeating nine other students. He received an $8,000 college scholarship, a personal computer, a gold medal and a week at the U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.

More than 700,000 students took part in the Mathcounts contest. Of the 224 finalists, 189 were boys and 35 were girls. The contest is sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers, CNA Insurance Companies, Cray Research Foundation, General Motors Foundation, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Here are the final three questions answered correctly by Brian Jenkins, winner of the 1990 Mathcounts contest:

QUESTION: If half the amount of an oil slick is removed each hour, what is the minimum number of hours after which less than 2 percent of the original amount will remain?

ANSWER: 6 hours.

QUESTION: A rectangular block of cheese measuring 6 inches by 8 inches by 10 inches sat in a refrigerator for three months. The exterior of the block is now covered with a green mold that has negligible thickness. The cheese is cut into 1-inch cubes. One cube is picked at random. What is the probability, expressed as whole number percent, that the chosen cube has no mold on it?

ANSWER: 40 percent.

QUESTION:. A series of basketball games is won when one team wins three out of five games. How many combinations of wins and losses are possible if a team is to win the series?

ANSWER: 10 combinations.