About the Judging Process
Judges decide which teams receive a share of up to $115,000 in scholarship prizes. After all solution papers have been received at M3 Challenge headquarters, panels of mathematicians serving as first-round triage judges read and score each solution paper according to the competition guidelines, and eliminate all but the very best submissions. Each paper is read by a minimum of two and as many as five triage judges. During the second round of judging, a panel of mathematicians serving as contention judges calibrates the remaining papers, selects papers worthy of receiving semi-finalist and honorable mention team awards, and tentatively ranks the top six winning teams. All solution papers are judged blind, meaning that judges only see the team ID # and have no other information about the team that submitted the paper. Solution papers with identifying marks other than the team ID # are disqualified.
The third and final phase of judging involves presentations by the top six teams at Moody's Corporation headquarters in Manhattan. A panel of Ph.D.-level professional mathematicians determines the final rank order of these top six teams. Scholarship prizes of $2,500 to $20,000 are presented at the awards ceremony that follows.
As part of the Challenge education process, a "judge perspective" document is prepared each year by one of the participating judges following the second round of judging. Its purpose is to help teams better understand what makes some papers more successful than others, with regard to that year's problem and the approaches that teams took in tackling it. The judge perspective might also contain insight regarding what the judges felt made for an outstanding paper.
Individual team commentary will be provided to individual teams if the judges who read their paper write comments during the judging process. While we cannot force commentary, we strongly encourage judges to provide teams with feedback.
Contest consultants and lead judges:
- Dr. Ben Fusaro, Florida State University
- Dr. Lee Seitelman, United Technologies (retired)
[Lead judges Ben Fusaro (left) and Lee Seitelman during the 2007 Challenge finals. Photo caption]
- 2012: All Aboard: Can High Speed Rail Get Back on Track
- 2011: Colorado River Water: Good to the Last Acre-Foot
- 2010: Making Sense of the 2010 Census
- 2009: $787 Billion-Will the Stimulus Act Stimulate the Economy?
- 2008: Energy Independence Meets the Law of Unintended Consequences
- 2007: Beat the Street!
Meet the Judges
Watch interviews with the Challenge judging consultants, view photo galleries of the judges, and see a comprehensive list of participating judges and their institutions for all Challenge years. Meet the Judges.