Kiski School wins fourth-straight Math League title

The Kiski School has its tetrad. The college preparatory boarding school in Saltsburg, Pa., captured its fourth consecutive championship of the StrongLand Chamber of Commerce Math League competition Feb. 28 at Penn State New Kensington.

Kiski School compiled 93 points to pull away from Kiski Area High with 73 points. A tight battle for third place went to Freeport Area High School, 69 points, followed by Valley High School, 68, and Burrell High School, 67. The two-day competition, spread over the fall and spring semesters, featured more than 100 students from eight area high schools answering mathematical questions.

Sponsored by the StrongLand Chamber of Commerce's Educational Committee, the annual competition brings together students from Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Ford City, Freeport, Kiski Area, Kiski School, Kittanning, Leechburg and Valley high schools and gives them the chance to go head-to-head in an academic competition. Each school can field up to three teams of five students, competing against all the other teams in each round. Students answer two sets of eight questions. They are allowed 25 minutes to answer each set. The questions in algebra, geometry and other areas of mathematics are developed by Ge Mu, instructor in mathematics at Penn State New Kensington.

“It is very encouraging to witness the young generation participating in the contest with strong passions towards mathematics,” said Mu, first-year director of the event. “As we all know, the whole nation is working very hard on the education in STEM fields.”

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focus is meant to prepare Pennsylvania students for global competitiveness through a strategy of enhanced education and career development opportunities. The initiatives are designed to increase the number of students, especially females, minorities and the underrepresented, in the STEM fields.

The Match League competitions began in 1986 under the direction of David Wells, associate professor of mathematics at the campus, who retired last year. Mu replaced Wells on the campus faculty and as head of the math competition. In the 27 years of competition, five schools have hoisted the championship trophy. Kiski Area earned 14 titles, including a record eight consecutive wins from 1999-2005. Kiski School follows with six. The two schools have captured the previous 15 crowns, from 1999 to the present. Burrell owns three trophies and Apollo-Ridge has two. Valley was the inaugural winner.

“The Math League serves as a wonderful way to motivate our students to achieve their best study potentials in mathematics,” said Mu, who joined the campus faculty in the fall.

Mu holds a master of arts in mathematics degree from Penn State's University Park campus, where she taught mathematics for two years before arriving at the New Kensington campus. A native of China, Mu has written two books, “Being an Undergraduate in the U.S.” that was published by Heilongjiang Education Press in 2006 and “Comprehensive College Algebra – Building Mathematics Insights through Logic and Exercises” that was published by Cognella Academic Publishing in 2013. The first book was written when she was an undergraduate and is based on her experiences at Louisiana State University. She was recognized for her publication at LSU’s commencement ceremony in 2008.

A resident of Plum Borough for only eight months, Mu has already made a mark in the community. Besides running the math league, she organized and administered the American Mathematics Competition and headed up StrongLand’s Invention Convention Showcase. In addition, she volunteers for campus STEM programs.

For additional information, contact Mu at 724-334-6749 or

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Last Updated March 06, 2013