Math Day at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Math Day

Math Day's Purpose

  • stimulate interest in mathematics among Nebraska high school students,
  • encourage them to pursue mathematics or mathematics-based science as a career and
  • recognize mathematical ability by awarding scholarships, certificates and trophies.

Math Day 2013 Poster

Travel Reimbursement

This year we will be reimbursing mileage for schools whose one-way trip is 150 miles or more, in lieu of covering the costs of hotel rooms. Blocks of rooms at two hotels have been set up at the Math Day rate for schools to call-in and make their reservations and arrange payment. More information can be found in the registration site.

Campus Tours

Short tours of the UNL City Campus and Avery Hall, home of the Department of Mathematics, will be available in the afternoon. Sign-up information will come after your registration is complete.

Department Displays

During the afternoon, students will have the opportunity to participate in mathematical games and puzzles and to visit with representatives from many of our science departments on campus.


UNL Math Day, hosted by the UNL Department of Mathematics, will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Thursday, November 20, 2014, on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus. Join the more than 100 Nebraska high schools for a day of fast-paced mathematics. 

In 2013, we hosted 1,549 students from 109 Nebraska high schools, our highest record of students. The next highest was at our 10th Anniversary celebration in November 1999, when we hosted 1,434 students from 103 Nebraska high schools.

Math Day consists of one individual and two team mathematics competitions. All students participate in a multiple-choice, preliminary exam called PROBE I (Problems Requiring Original and Brilliant Effort). The top 40 students then move on to take the now famous essay exam called PROBE II. The PROBE top 10 Nebraska high school students (sum of PROBE I and II) are awarded a total of $34,000 in four-year scholarships to UNL.

Opening Ceremony

As part of our celebration, the opening ceremony begins at 8 a.m. in the Nebraska Coliseum located at 14th and Vine streets, and it will truly be the beginning of an exciting, competitive day with plenty of room for all 1,400 (or so) of us. After the opening ceremony, students will walk to the Nebraska Union to take the PROBE I exam.


Nebraska Coliseum


Nebraska Union


PROBE is the name of the individual competition. It is in two parts. The first part, PROBE I, is a one-hour, multiple-choice exam that is machine-graded. All participants are asked to enter this event. Plaques are awarded to the top three female and top three male students on the PROBE I exam. The top 40 students are invited to enter the second part, PROBE II. PROBE II is a one-hour essay exam that emphasizes knowledge, depth of understanding and written expression. It is graded by faculty in the UNL Department of Mathematics. The PROBE top 10 students (sum of I and II) are awarded scholarships to UNL totaling $34,000. All the questions assume only two years high school algebra and one year geometry. However, the answers to PROBE II questions require the creativity and originality that we expect from only the very best students. The PROBE Team Competition is based on the PROBE I exam. Schools are divided into the same six divisions as in the Math Bowl competition. In Classes I and II, the top five scores from each school are added to determine the winners, and in Class III, the top four scores, and in Classes IV, V and VI the top three scores. Plaques are awarded to the schools placing first and second in each division.

Math Bowl: Team Competition

The Math Bowl is a double-elimination tournament pitting three-member teams against each other. The team competitions are divided into six classes, according to school enrollment for grades 9 through 12, with trophies given to the top three teams in each.

Past Results

Register Online

Registration for the 25th annual Math Day will open in September 2014.

Contact Us

Lindsay Augustyn
Lindsay Augustyn

Outreach and Communications Director


UNL Math Day
Department of Mathematics
203 Avery Hall
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0130

Parking Permits Required

Parking permits are required for all cars, vans and buses that will be parking on the designated UNL parking grounds by the Devaney Sports Center (aka Innovation Campus). Permits for cars and vans cost $6.00 per vehicle, while a permit for a bus will cost $24.00 each in 2014.


  1. No calculators allowed.
  2. Bring sharpened pencils with you - there are no pencil sharpeners available at Math Day.
  3. Academic dishonesty is a violation: It has been brought to our attention that some students have rearranged the order of the pre-set PROBE I exams on the tables so that students from the same school are working on the same version of the exam. This is considered academic dishonesty and will not be tolerated. If a student is caught switching an exam for this purpose, he or she will be removed from the testing area and escorted directly to their teacher/sponsor.