Mathematical Puzzle Program Hosted at USF

October 2, 2017 | Joliet, Ill.

The University of St. Francis (USF) will host the Mathematical Puzzle Program (MaPP) High School Challenge on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Guardian Angel Hall on the St. Clare Campus at 1550 Plainfield Rd. in Joliet. MaPP is a team-based mathematical puzzle competition for high school students.

Check-in for the competition begins at 10 a.m. and will last until approximately 3 p.m. Lunch is provided and the cost is $10 per student which includes a full day of puzzle fun, lunch, T-shirt and awards.

Unlike most math competitions, the MaPP Challenge doesn’t require any knowledge beyond basic algebra and rewards players’ problem-solving ability over their previous mathematical background. Participants can register and find a teaser puzzle at The goals of the MaPP High School Challenge are threefold:

First, expose students to new areas of mathematics. Rather than testing students on existing knowledge of the high school curriculum, the MaPP High School Challenge puzzles are drawn from mathematical fields and applications such as combinatorics, topology and industry. No mathematics background beyond basic algebra is required.

Second, challenge students’ problem-solving abilities. Since puzzles are not based on the usual high school curriculum, the MaPP High School Challenge rewards students for their problem-solving skills over their existing knowledge of mathematical formulas and facts. This also places younger students on more even ground with students who have completed advanced courses. Students will touch most if not all of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice.

Lastly, entertain students with a fun puzzle-solving competition. Above all, participating students will have a great time cracking the codes and unraveling the riddles within our mathematical puzzles. The word “math” is embedded in the acronym MaPP but otherwise is not included in the competition name; we expect that even math-phobic students will enjoy a fun day of puzzling and hopefully will leave with a new appreciation of what mathematics can be.

For additional questions, please contact Dr. Megan Powell at

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves 3,900 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 48,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.