Professor Laurence Chisholm Young (1905-2000), whose picture at age 90 appears at the left, began the Wisconsin Mathematics, Engineering and Science Talent Search in 1963. Early Talent Search directors include Professors Michael Bleicher, Lawrence Levy and Rod Smart, with contributions from many other members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mathematics Department. Professor I. Martin Isaacs, pictured at the right, was director for 32 years from 1980 to 2012. Professor Donald S. Passman was assistant director for 21 years from 1991 to 2012.
Each school year, the Talent Search creates five sets of five problems each and distributes them to high school and middle school students in the state of Wisconsin and throughout the world. These problems are unusual, challenging, and we hope, enjoyable. They are not easy, but their solutions do not require advanced mathematical knowledge–just talent in problem solving.