Department of Mathematics

The AMC 8

The AMC 8 is a mathematical contest for middle school students that is run by the Mathematical Association of American. It is administered at schools and universities throughout the nation, and we in the Department of Mathematics at Bucknell University serve as a host site. The contest takes place in mid-November. The purpose of this event is to increase interest in mathematics and to develop problem solving through a fun competition.  Besides the competition, there will be a short mathematics presentation tailored to the level of the participants. More details can be found in the letter sent to local middle schools (pdf).

To register your students or child in the event, please send an email with the number of students and the name and contact details of an accompanying adult to by mid-October. More information on the contest can be found at and questions about local arrangements can be directed to

The Gold Exam

The Professor John Steiner Gold Mathematical Competition is sponsored by Bucknell University and the Pennsylvania Beta Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national honorary mathematics society, in memory of the late Professor John Steiner Gold. The competition typically takes place in mid-March on the Wednesday of Bucknell's spring break, with a snow date on the Friday of that week. The John Gold Competition usually takes place during the week of Bucknell's Spring Break. .

Professor Gold, a native of Turbotville, taught at several area high schools before joining the faculty at Bucknell, where he served with distinction for nearly half a century. In the spirit of his life-long work, this competition was established to discover and to encourage mathematical talent and to give public recognition to those who achieve in mathematics.

Competing in the Gold Exam

The competition is open to all area high schools, public and private. Each school may enter up to three students as their team.  Additional students from each school may also compete for individual prizes. || See previous winners

A school entering fewer than three students can still compete as a team, although it is more difficult to win the team competition. As everyone also competes individually, even students without a full team should be encouraged to participate.

The competition will be in the form of a written examination. The examination will not presuppose any knowledge of mathematics beyond the usual high school curriculum. However, it includes non-routine and stimulating problems which are intended to foster both creativity and interest in mathematics. Copies of previous examinations are available upon request to help the schools select and prepare participants.

Preparing for the Gold Exam

Instructors may also help their students prepare by having them consider topics in their textbooks that are sometimes omitted from class work, e.g., sequences, arithmetic and geometric progressions, permutations and combinations, and elementary probability. Instructors who actively encourage and prepare a group of students for participation will find the competition a worthwhile and rewarding co-curricular activity. || Samples of past Gold Exams: Sample 1 Sample 2

Further Information

For further information contact Polly Doyle, Department of Mathematics Academic Assistant, via phone (570.577.1343) or email (