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Plainview Prof Mentors Math Whiz

A Plainview professor coached a young Farmingdale math talent all the way to a mathematical championship recently.

Farmingdale State College sophomore Javier Garcia took first place in the 2013 annual U.S. National Collegiate Mathematics Championship, part of the Mathematical Association of America’s conference, Mathfest, held in Hartfod, Conn.

“This outstanding achievement is a tribute not only to Javier’s abilities as a mathematician,” said Farmingdale’s president W. Hubert Keen, “but also to the dedication of his math professors, especially Dr. Neymotin and Dr. Marques.”

Garcia competed against dozens of finalists, drawn from over 1,200 students representing 600 colleges and universities across the country who were invited to the national Mathfest competition.  

Only two of the finalists were able to complete all seven challenge problems which constituted the final event. Javier finished in 20 minutes; the only other student to finish took 35 minutes.  

Garcia was mentored by Plainview’s Neymotin, who coordinates Farmingdale’s participation in the national weekly mathematics problem-solving program from which the finalists were drawn. Farmingdale students have competed very successfully in this Championship, placing eighth and tenth in previous years.

“Javier is a student of exceptional talent in mathematics,” said Neymotin. “It has been my pleasure not only to teach and mentor him but also to know him as a person.”

Garcia is a sophomore in Applied Mathematics at Farmingdale, originally from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The Farmingdale College Foundation provided funding for his expenses.  

Part of the School of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Mathematics, chaired by Dr. Carlos Marques, teaches math to thousands of students each semester. More than 40 students have been accepted into the Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics and hundreds are earning a minor in the subject.