News Releases

Math Contest promises fierce competition and fruitful rewards
Release Date Friday, May 9, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (May 9, 2014) – More than 400 area middle and high students from western South Dakota and Nebraska will converge on the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology campus, Monday, May 12, for the 64th annual West River Math Contest with the hope that their calculated moves will launch them into mathematics stardom.

Sponsored by the School of Mines, the contest begins at 9:30 a.m. with a campus welcome at the King Center. Five exams follow – Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Advanced Math and The Masters Exam – all for a coveted award, given to the top five individuals in each exam and the top team in each class, presented at a 1:30 p.m. awards ceremony.

And winning an award is no easy feat. “This test is not multiple-choice so students can’t just guess in order to score well, very few contests like this are graded by hand and there are very few regional academic competitions,” Kyle Riley, Ph.D., department head and associate professor of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science, explains.

Riley’s commitment is no less commendable. “There are countless hours spent in preparation of this contest along with the editing the exams, printing costs, and coordinating proctors to supervise administration of the tests.” The mathematics and computer department writes the test, the faculty grades them, and Julie Dahl, assistant professor in the department coordinates with teachers and compiles the results.

But at the end of the day, it’s worth it for Riley. “Our mission is to promote mathematics and recognize excellence,” and this year’s contest promises to do just that.

For information on donating to support the West River Math Contest, please contact the SDSM&T Foundation at or (605) 394-2436.


About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at