$65,000 in scholarship prizes up for grabs

$65,000 in scholarship prizes up for grabs

More students eligible to participate in Moody's Mega Math Challenge

January 31, 2008

In 2008, students in the Boston and Philadelphia regions and surrounding areas will join New York City metropolitan students to participate in Moody's Mega Math Challenge. Up for grabs is $65,000 in scholarship prizes. Funded by The Moody's Foundation, the competition was expanded due to the tremendous response from New York City-area high schools during the first two years.

Support from educators in the New York City region has been encouraging. "The M3 Challenge and its provocative questions engage students to think creatively, work efficiently in teams, create econometric models, and create solutions that can better society," said Danny Jaye, Principal, Bergen County Academies, in Hackensack, New Jersey. "It was clearly one of the academic highlights of their year!"

The competition has grown to include more than 60 counties, up from 19 in the past two years. In 2008, it will reach more than 17,000 teachers and tens of thousands of high school juniors and seniors in the eligible areas. The Moody's Foundation and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), which organizes the competition, are looking forward to eager participation from teachers, educators, and students in the new areas.

"Moody's Mega Math Challenge is different from other contests – there is no test site, no long list of formulas and calculations, and no teacher or supervisor interaction with the students as they participate," said Jim Cocoros, a teacher from Stuyvesant High School, in New York City. "This is a taste of reality – students download the problem early in the morning and are expected to research, analyze, summarize, solve, and justify by that night. I am pleased to see math being highlighted as a relevant and valuable tool outside the classroom."

The goal of the Challenge is to encourage high school students to pursue math-related studies and careers. Students are required to solve a challenging applied math-modeling problem based on real world issues. The 2006 problem dealt with ensuring the long-term viability of social security and the 2007 problem required students to try to beat the stock market – by using applied math techniques. The 2008 problem will be revealed to participating teams on Challenge weekend, March 8 and 9.


About the Sponsor

The Moody's Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting a variety of nonprofit education, health and human services, civic, and arts and culture programs. Established by Moody's Corporation in 2001, the Foundation's primary area of giving is secondary and higher education with a focus on mathematics, economics and finance. Further information is available at http://philanthropy.moodys.com.

Moody's Corporation (NYSE: MCO), an essential component of the global capital markets, provides credit ratings, research, tools and analysis that contribute to stable, transparent and integrated financial markets. Moody'sCorporation is the parent company of Moody's Investors Service and Moody's Analytics, encompassing Moody's non-ratings businesses. With revenues of $2.3 billion in 2007, Moody's employs approximately 3,600 people worldwide and maintains a presence in 27 countries. Further information is available at www.moodys.com.

About the Organizer

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, is an international society of over 11,000 individual members. These include applied and computational mathematicians and computer scientists, as well as other scientists and engineers. Members are researchers, educators, students, and practitioners from 85 countries in industry, government, laboratories, and academia. The Society, which also includes more than 500 academic and corporate institutional members, serves and advances the disciplines of applied mathematics and computational science by publishing a variety of books and prestigious peer-reviewed research journals, by conducting conferences, and by hosting activity groups in various areas of mathematics. SIAM provides many opportunities for students including regional sections and student chapters. Further information is available at www.siam.org.

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