WSU student teams compete in grueling 100-hour International Math Modeling Competition
Two WSU teams of three students each, joined a 100-hour long international math modeling competition against thousands of other world-wide teams all working at the same time on one of six problems. Students began the competition at 2:00pm on Thursday, January 19, and submitted their final reports electronically by 6:00pm on Monday, January 23, 2017. Some students brought blankets and pillows but got little sleep as they worked around the clock to develop a mathematical model for an open-ended problem. They used data available on the Internet, wrote a computer program, and analyzed the results, to help solve their selected problem. The teams were composed of students from math, environmental sciences, mechanical engineering, and physics. They could choose one of six problems to work on: (1) managing the Zambezi River (southern Africa), where the collapse of the Kariba dam is imminent, threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, (2) developing a strategy to merge traffic after a toll booth, (3) analyzing the effects of allowing some self-driving cars in the greater Seattle area, (4) optimizing passenger throughput at an airport security checkpoint, (5) sustainable urban planning, or (6) developing an economic workforce-education system that can be implemented for the first 10,000 persons colonizing Mars in the 22nd century so that the population is sustainable for the next 100 years with possibly major perturbations to the population. Students were not allowed to ask anyone for help but could use any inanimate resource such as computers, software, references, web sites, books, etc.
WSU math modeling Team "S" members were math and mechanical engineering major, Ryan Whitehead, math major Kate Lanzinger, and civil engineering and environmental science major, Perri Piller - show left to right.Team "S" members, Kate Lanzinger and Perri Piller - shown left to right.
The competition is organized by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP). It is sponsored by four professional societies; two in math (MAA and SIAM), one in operations research (INFORMS), and one in finance (TWO SIGMA).
Are you a student interested in a future modeling contest? Contact associate math professor, Dr. Lynn Schreyer for more information.