I don’t know exactly what combination of amused and disturbed I should be at the knowledge that some of my readers are apparently marking their calendars with my students’ exam dates, but in any case, yes, it’s true, my precalculus students wrote their exams yesterday. And that means that I’ll be spending much of this weekend grading them. And that means…it’s bingo time!

The First Annual TD&M Precalculus Bingo Contest drew four entries, all from people I know personally, which means that if I stiff the winner on their prize then they’ll probably forgive me, because being my friend is reward enough. Let’s meet our contestants, shall we?

Meep is a former mathematics graduate student, currently employed as an actuary in New York City. She’s taught plenty of intro-level mathematics classes, and has seen more than her share of exam wackiness such as “Copies full text of question in the answer”!

Dr. Matt, who works as a discrete math professor south of the 49th parallel, was a few years ahead of me at our alma mater. He edited the math faculty humour magazine for some time, so he knows math funny! When I pointed out that my class didn’t cover complex numbers, he told me that he wasn’t going to change his prediction that my students’ exams would contain “Misguided adventures in imaginary numbers”. Matt knows that precalculus students don’t have to know what imaginary numbers are to take square roots of negative quantities!

Also teaching discrete math in the United States is Moses, who predicts that a student of mine will “ask for exam average within 24 hours of writing exam”. If we can count an email that a student sent four days before writing the exam, requesting that her grade be computed even before she’d be finished writing it, then Moses is well on his way to precalculus bingo victory!

Finally, James goes for broke with predictions such as “Bomb threat called in during exam”. Fortunately, that didn’t happen, but James isn’t out of the running yet!

Who will win? Stay tuned for breaking updates of Precalculus Bingo!