David Essner Mathematics Competition

The David Essner Mathematics Competition is an annual competition among Miami-Dade County secondary school students. It was established in memory to David Essner by his family and the University of Miami Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Since 1981-1982 it has been an annual competition among the secondary school students of Miami-Dade County in Florida, being open to all secondary schools, public and private

Each competition has 2 steps:

The first is a 90 min. multiple choice test given at the competing schools during the first Thursday in December. Although all high school students are eligible to take this test, it is recommended only for those who have had good grades in honors algebra and precalculus classes.

The second is a 3 hour test, which is given in late January or early February at the University of Miami. The only contestants that can take it are school winners and others who made a sufficiently high score on the preliminary exam. This second test usually has only 5 problems, whose solutions require creative thought. The contestant must explain the answer and procedures in a clear and logical form.

A certificate is given to each school winner, and the top 10 winners of the second test receive a scholarship to the University of Miami, and are invited to an awards dinner, along with their parents and/or other guests and school teachers. The top five receive cash prizes, plaques and mathematics books. The following five receive certificates and books.

David Essner
David Essner graduated from South Miami High School in 1975 and entered the University of Miami that same year. He enjoyed mathematics problem solving and mathematics competitions. As an undergraduate student he participated in the Putnam Mathematics competition 4 times, one of which he got to be the top scorer on a 3 person University of Miami team that ranked 28th on the exam, among about 300 other university teams.

In 1979 he graduated from Miami with majors in mathematics and physics, and entered graduate study in mathematics at the same university, being awarded a University Fellowship. Because of his advanced coursework as an undergraduate he was ready for the Ph.D. qualifying exam, which he passed at the end of his first year of graduate study. During his second year of graduate study, in the Spring of 1981, he was fatally injured in a motorbike accident.