## Posts Tagged ‘Moody’s Mega Math Challenge’

## M3 Challenge finalists meet with Mayor Bloomberg

After half a day spent squaring off with their peers on the best mathematical models for plastic accumulation and recycling in Moody’s Mega Math Challenge 2013, and winning their share of $115,000, the top six teams in this year’s contest had another prize waiting for them: a meeting with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

During a tour of New York City Hall following the event, the mayor met with the finalists, their coaches and parents, as well as organizers from the M3 Challenge. He spoke to them about the importance of applied mathematics and STEM education and careers, as well as of New York City as an excellent place for young people to live and work. View the photos! Read the rest of this entry »

## Plastic problem payoff for STEM savvy students

**Minnesota team nabs $20K with math-based solution to recycling dilemma**

**New York, April 30, 2013 —*** *Extraordinary problem-solving and creativity earned 29 high school students from Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania top honors—and top dollars—in the 2013 Moody’s Mega Math (M^{3}) Challenge, a math modeling contest organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and sponsored by The Moody’s Foundation.

The champion team of five twelfth-graders from Plymouth, Minnesota-based Wayzata High School will share $20,000 from a total scholarship pool of $115,000, along with well-deserved bragging rights, after being selected from thousands of participants for coming up with the best mathematical solutions to the country’s –and world’s—growing plastic pollution and recycling crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

## M3 Challenge: Behind the scenes

Learn more about Moody’s Mega Math Challenge, the high-school math modeling contest organized by SIAM, the history and inspiration behind the Challenge, and how the contest fulfills a SIAM goal to raise awareness of and enthusiasm about applied mathematics and computational science.

Michelle Montgomery, Project Director of the M^{3} Challenge, spoke to Sol Lederman of Wild About Math about all that and more, including the philanthropic motivations of The Moody’s Foundation in partnering with SIAM to sponsor the contest, and their shared objective to increase the pipeline of engineers and computational scientists.

Kathleen Fowler, mathematics professor at Clarkson University who co-authored the 2013 problem with Quinnipiac University’s Karen Bliss, spoke about the process of problem development for the Challenge and how she was inspired by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to focus this year’s problem on plastic pollution and recycling.

Listen to the complete podcast here.

## Watch highlights from M3 Challenge 2012!

Watch highlights from Moody’s Mega Math Challenge 2012, where thousands of high school students from the Eastern U.S. created mathematical models to determine the best regions in the country for establishing rail lines as part of a revived High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program. The regions were ranked based on estimates of ridership numbers over the next 20 years, and costs of building and maintenance, in addition to the effects such rail networks would have on American dependence on foreign energy.

## An overview of M3 Challenge 2012

At Moody’s Mega Math Challenge 2012, thousands of high school students created mathematical models to determine the best regions in the country for establishing rail lines as part of a revived High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program. The regions were ranked based on estimates of ridership numbers over the next 20 years, and costs of building and maintenance, in addition to the effects such rail networks would have on American dependence on foreign energy. Watch a 5-minute overview video of the Challenge below:

## New Jersey Students Named Champions in Unique Moody’s Mega Math Challenge

*Winners selected from thousands of U.S. high school students who participated in **Moody’s Mega Math (M ^{3})*

*Challenge to find solutions to key national transportation issue** *

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**New York****, NY – April 27, 2012 – **

Math skills plus a creative solution to a current US transportation issue equals a prestigious top spot in a one-of-a-kind national math contest.

That was the formula for success of a team of five New Jersey high school students, who placed first in the 2012 Moody’s Mega Math (M^{3}) Challenge, sharing $20,000 from a total $115,000 scholarship pool as well as bragging rights after being chosen from thousands of student participants.

Vineel Chakradhar, Stephen Guo, Daniel Takash, Angela Zhou, and Kevin Zhou, eleventh and twelfth-graders from Lincroft, NJ-based High Technology High School were found to have come up with the most sound mathematical solution to the country’s proposed new high-speed rail program currently being debated by members of Congress. The students presented their findings at The Moody’s Corporation New York, NY headquarters yesterday, along with five other finalist teams.

Organized by the Philadelphia, PA-based Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and sponsored by New York, NY-based The Moody’s Foundation, the contest drew nearly 5,000 eleventh and twelfth-graders from the Eastern US who were asked to use mathematical modeling to determine the best regions in the country to revive the Department of Transportation’s planned High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program – a hot topic in Congress due to the success of North America’s only high speed rail line, Amtrak’s Acela Express. From recommending the best regions for the rail lines to predicting ridership numbers, cost of implementation and effects of such a program on foreign-energy dependence, teams of three to five students put the problem-solving skills they learned in the classroom to the test.

The contest – designed to spotlight the relevancy and power of mathematics in solving real-world issues, as well as motivate students to consider further education and careers in math – gave the nearly 1,000 teams that participated 14 hours to study the issue in question, collect data, and devise models before uploading their solutions online in the form of a research paper.

“If we won this, it means that these PhD mathematician judges felt that we had a compelling and cogent solution,” said Vineel Chakradhar from the champion team. “That says a lot, because while we were taking steps and making assumptions and solving the problem, we didn’t really know if we were doing it right, if we were taking the right approach. But that’s just an aspect of applied math, I guess, nobody is really certain what to expect or whether your approach is right – you just have to do the best you can with what information you have.”

Daniel Takash, also from the champion team, explained: “While delivering the final answer, when I was summing up the total amounts of money, I saw a lot of digits in red – and I became very nervous because I thought we’d done something wrong, but then I realized this makes sense. If you look deeper and deeper, high speed rail is not the wisest transportation choice. In the 1950s we made the decision to invest in highways and airports—that’s the infrastructure decision we made back then when Europe and Asia made a different infrastructure decision. This is the path we chose and we should stick to it. It would be prohibitively expensive to change, especially with talk of multitrillion dollar deficits and debt.”

Judges serving on the panel to review the final presentations were impressed with the students’ performance and character. “The fact that these students chose to spend an entire day working on an academic challenge like this gives me great faith that, given the plethora of choices they will have in the future, they will choose actions that not only advance their own personal welfare but the good of society as a whole,” said Judge Kathleen Shannon from Salisbury University.

First runners up in the contest are Connor Davis, Mia de los Reyes, Alyssa Ferris,

Sam Magura, and Vitchyr Pong from North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, NC, who split a $15,000 scholarship prize. Third place winners are Madeline Jenkins, Samuel Kirschbaum, Joel Sharin, Steven Tang, and Sorin Vatasoiu from Nashoba Regional High School in Bolton, MA, who shared a $10,000 in scholarship funds. Teams from Pine View School, Florida; Staples High School, Connecticut; and Hunterdon Central Regional High School, New Jersey, landed fourth, fifth and sixth spots, respectively, yielding them shared scholarship pools of between $7,500 and $2,500. (See link below for a full list of winners).

“I think the idea of applying math to real world problems is very powerful,” said SIAM Past President Margaret Wright, who is a Silver Professor in the Department of Computer Science at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. “I think the fact that the problems are simplified and brought down to a manageable level is essential. You can’t ask high school students to solve the high speed rail problem, but I think that the value is simply that they get exposed to the complexities and the nuanced decisions – a real world problem is not as clear-cut as a homework problem.”

Members of the judging panel included professional mathematicians Ben Fusaro, Florida State University; Lee Seitelman, United Technologies (retired); Kathleen Shannon, Salisbury University; David Sprecher, The University of California, Santa Barbara (retired); and Joe Malkevitch, York College, The City University of New York. Prior to yesterday’s final judging round, the nearly 1,000 student submissions were assessed by 107 judges from across the country, who then narrowed down the entries to six finalists.

For more information about the Moody’s Mega Math (M^{3}) Challenge, visit m3challenge.siam.org . To access this year’s challenge problem, visit http://m3challenge.siam.org/pdf/m3challenge_problem_12.pdf.

View full list of winners here: http://m3challenge.siam.org/pdf/winning_teams_12.pdf

## Students use math to help U.S. high-speed rail get back on track

*Top high school teams in Moody’s Mega Math Challenge will share $115,000 in college scholarships*

Philadelphia, PA – Judges for Moody’s Mega Math Challenge evaluated nearly 1,000 solution papers, and have selected the top 55 as the contest moves one step closer to deciding this year’s best.

In this year’s contest, more than 5,000 students used mathematical modeling to identify and rank the best regions in the country for establishing high speed rail lines as part of a nationwide network, an issue currently being debated in Congress. Using their math knowledge along with critical thinking, research, and analytical skills, participants provided mathematically-founded recommendations based on potential ridership numbers, cost of implementation, and effects of such a program on foreign-energy dependence. Working independently via the Internet, teams of 3-5 students had just 14 hours to study the issue, collect data, and devise models before uploading their solutions in the form of a research paper. Read the rest of this entry »

## Is U.S. High-Speed Rail Worth the Cost?

* For nearly 5,000 high school students in this year’s M ^{3} Challenge, that’s the $100,000 question*

Anyone who has filled their gas tank—or just passed by a gas station—in the past few weeks knows that the cost of gas is on the rise again. Gas prices today are 10 percent higher than they were a year ago and are projected to reach $5.00 a gallon in some parts of the country by Memorial Day.

This is a major reason why our country’s leaders are revisiting the need to establish alternate methods of transportation that are less influenced by oil prices. Just last month, a federal highway bill that would overhaul transportation programs and available funding for mass transit was heatedly debated in Congress.

This past weekend, thousands of high school students also weighed in on the mass transit issue, as competing teams in Moody’s Mega Math (M^{3}) Challenge, an Internet-based applied-math modeling contest organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Read the rest of this entry »

## What to love about Moodys Mega Math Challenge

*And why to participate in the 2012 contest. Registration is open until February 24.*

While most typical teenagers are relaxing, shopping, going to the movies, or hanging out with friends, thousands of their peers will spend the first weekend in March analyzing and modeling a complex, real-world issue using the power of mathematics. Participants in Moody’s Mega Math Challenge, these students will be competing for a share of $115,000 in scholarship prizes to be awarded by The Moody’s Foundation in April.

Now in its seventh year, the Challenge is free and currently open to high schools in 29 states in the Eastern United States. Organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), it gives eleventh and twelfth graders, working in teams of three to five, just 14 hours to attempt to solve an open-ended, applied math-modeling problem focused on a relevant issue. The top six teams—chosen after two intense rounds of judging—will travel to Moody’s Manhattan offices to present their findings to an expert panel of PhD-level mathematicians and receive their awards. Read the rest of this entry »

## Moving mathematics beyond the classroom: Moody’s Mega Math Challenge

*M ^{3} Challenge emphasizes the practical implications of math*

Skill in mathematics has traditionally been associated with being good with numbers. This has led to the conventional wisdom that the answers—and hence, grades—tend to be more clear-cut and unforgiving in math classes, allowing less room for the flair and creativity associated with the humanities where classes are more discussion-based and imaginative.

But it’s important to recognize that math isn’t always as absolute as it seems. Outside the classroom, the practical implications of math go far beyond cracking a complicated calculus problem. Math is being used to create models for disease therapy, simulations for climate change, and frameworks for financial markets—solving real-world problems whose answers suddenly aren’t just numbers or formulas anymore, but rather the basis for making decisions about the future. Read the rest of this entry »