WSU Team Fibonacci Wins Montana Mathematical Modeling Challenge
A Washington State University math team recently took first-place in the Montana Mathematical Modeling Challenge, a 24-hour regional competition that challenged 18 teams from 5 universities to solve one of two real-world problems using mathematics. By incorporating data from the repeal of prohibition, the winning members of WSU Team Fibonacci, Mina Moreland and Noah Hoppis, were able to devise the most successful prediction of the economic effects of legalizing marijuana in the State of Montana. October 15-16 was an intense weekend as they competed with other student teams from Washington State University, Western Washington, Eastern Washington, Carroll College, and Montana State University. Teams were given the challenge of solving one of two problems; come up with an optimal Pokemon Go Strategy, or predict the economic effects of legalizing marijuana in the State of Montana.
Team Fermat members Nelson Fuentes, Michael Newsham, and Hannah Bogen, shown left to right.
WSU Team Fermat Places in Top 25% of the Challenge
A second WSU team, Team Fermat (Nelson Fuentes, Michael Newsham, and Hannah Bogen), placed in the top 25% of all participants for their Pokemon Go Strategy.
Having survived a demanding weekend would they do it again? According to Mina Moreland who plans to go into bio statistics, "The competition was the most intense fun I've had as a mathematician. It was grueling and exhausting, and an absolute blast. I can't wait for internationals." Hannah Bogen who is majoring in math and computer science said, "The competition was extremely fun, and a great way to meet new people. I definitely plan to do it again."
Team Fibonacci freshman member Noah Hoppis, who intends to major in physics and mechanical engineering, had this to say, "At the challenge I learned quite a bit about the applied side of math. Probably the most interesting to me was the idea that the validity of a model is not necessarily driven by complexity so much as the accuracy of the initial assumptions. I also have Mina to thank for helping form and validate these assumptions, forge the model, and spin the whole mess in a way that could be transmitted through one sheet of paper."
The teams were coached by mathematics Associate Professor Dr. Lynn Schreyer who attests, "I’m officially the “coach,” but in practice I'm their biggest cheerleader!"