It doesn't take a math major to figure out that $250,000 is a lot of dough.
But the Mathletes are in it to win it. Four University at Buffalo undergraduate students, all of whom study mathematics, are competing in the second season of "Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge." The NBC competition series kicks off at 10 p.m. on Monday.
The students are: Chris Komin, a senior majoring in math and film study; Zoe Herrick, a junior majoring in math and biomedical engineering; Trevor Bernard, a sophomore math major; and Ellen Lutnick, a junior who switched her major from math to exercise science. Komin and Lutnick are from Grand Island; Herrick is from Rochester and Bernard is from Long Island. They dubbed themselves the Mathletes because of their shared academic interest at UB, and they trained for several months to prepare for the show. The UB team will compete with 24 other teams from across the country for $250,000 in prize winnings. Each team has two men and two women and a fifth member – an elite athlete who is selected by the show and serves as team captain.
The teams must tackle a grueling, mile-long obstacle course of mud, water and fire that requires a combination of athleticism and analytical problem solving.