Frequently Asked Questions 2022

Frequently Asked Questions 2022

If You Have Questions or Run Into Issues During Challenge Weekend, Read Our FAQ for the Answers!

February 21, 2022

Please read the problem and the official rules and make decisions and interpretations based on your best understanding of what it asks. If you run into technical issues, unrelated to the Challenge problem, read through the frequently asked questions below.

Getting help on the problem via the Internet

You can use any resources available to you. Even if you find a solution to the problem you are trying to solve you can use it with citation. You must demonstrate a depth of understanding and expand upon it with your own work.

*Exception: Help sites, social media, or people not on your team - Asking questions or posing the problem for HUMANS to comment on or provide advice about is prohibited. Rule: During Challenge weekend, team members may not discuss any aspect of the problem with, nor seek help from via any means or method, the coach or anyone other than their teammates. 

Questions about the problem

Please read the problem and the rules on the M3 Challenge website and make decisions and interpretations based on your best understanding of what it asks. Many teams re-state the problem in their paper as they understand what is being asked.

Issues related to logging in

Where do I go to log in? – click on “login” in the upper right area of the home page.

I don’t have/know my password (but have the ID #)

Go to and click “login” in the upper right area of the home page then “forgot password” below the login button to go to a screen where you can enter your team ID # and any email address that exists in the team record to receive the password in an emailed message.

I don’t have/know my team ID # (or password)

Students and coaches received registration confirmation emails with the team ID # and password. Search your inbox for this subject line: “You Have Been Successfully Added to Team # [team_id] for M3 Challenge”.

Passwords cannot be changed.

Login isn’t working

Please be sure to enter the password exactly as provided (passwords are case sensitive). We suggest that you copy and paste it and watch that you do not grab an extraneous space at the end of the password when copying it.

After five failed login attempts, you will be locked out for one hour. You can:

  • Try another device – the lockout is IP-specific
  • Wait an hour to get started

Problems related to downloading the problem

We are having issues downloading the problem

If you click "The Problem" on the right-hand side are you able to click the button that says, "Click To Indicate You Have Read The Above"? You must click that before you are able to download the problem.

Problems related to uploading/submitting your paper

We just submitted our paper – did you get it?

Team members should check the “Upload Solution” page. A table will display a “View Latest Upload” link and original file name. If it does not match, or if it is not displayed in a table/box like the one below upload it again. Make sure that after browsing and selecting your solution paper file that you click on the “Submit Solution” button.

You can click “View latest upload” on this same “Upload Solution” page. Check confirmation emails with the subject line “Solution uploaded” - this confirms your submission and whether or not you checked the “Technical Computing” box.

The upload is taking too long

Please reload the page. You can re-upload if you need to, just remember to click the “Submit Solution” button.

We realized we submitted a document that isn’t a PDF

We will do our best to accept your Word (or other format) solution. While we attempt to convert any papers to PDF, corrupt files or files that we are unable to convert to PDF, will not be judged.

We forgot to check the box for our paper to be considered for the Technical Computing Award

Check the latest confirmation email with the subject line “Solution uploaded” to confirm whether or not your team checked the “Technical Computing” box.

If you did not check the “Technical Computing” box, send an email with subject line “FORGOT TO CHECK TECHNICAL COMPUTING” to [email protected] and let us know your team # and that you want to be considered for the Technical Computing Award but did not check the box. This must be done by end of day on Tuesday following Challenge weekend.

Any other technical issue…

Do not miss out on submitting your work. Email your paper to [email protected] immediately.

Power or weather issues

We have a power outage

Can you go somewhere else? Are any hot spots available? Get the paper to us at the earliest possible time with note re: power outage. If the deadline has passed, email it to us at [email protected] with the paper as an attachment and include team ID # as the only identifier on it. Please include the subject line “2022 M3 Challenge Solution: Team #XXXXX”. Unfortunately, accommodations can’t be made for these circumstances (see statement in next section). If submitted within 24 hours of Challenge end time, your paper will still be judged and receive feedback, but due to lateness it will not be eligible for prizes.

Questions about extending working time due to snow/extreme weather

MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge, SIAM, and MathWorks are not responsible for local weather conditions, power or Internet outages, pandemic or disease spread and related common sense actions, or any other situation or circumstance that would prevent a potential team from registering, or from fully participating in the Challenge, (including, for example, by preventing the submission of a paper during their selected Challenge work time) or that prevents normal M3 Challenge processes or procedures from occurring (including for example, cancelation or replacement of the final event). No accommodations can be made for teams if such unfortunate circumstances were to occur during registration or at any time during the Challenge, up through and including final event. If submitted within 24 hours of Challenge end time, your paper will still be judged and receive feedback, but due to lateness it will not be eligible for prizes.

M3 Challenge does not require team members to physically work in the same location. They may, and during pandemic times we encourage that teams work remotely using online collaboration tools.

We are late

We missed the deadline or we can no longer use the upload function on the site, or we are locked out

Email your paper ASAP to [email protected], with the subject line “2022 M3 Challenge Solution: Team #XXXXX”, so it can be entered into judging. If the paper is only a few minutes late, there is no penalty. If the paper is significantly late, it will still be judged and receive feedback, but it will not be eligible for top prizes.

Questions about data

Teams may choose to use none, some, or all of the data provided by M3 Challenge and/or any additional data sources identified while working on the problem. Be sure to cite all resources used. Data sets in the real world are often incomplete or contain holes. If any discrepancies are noticed with the provided data sets, you should choose which data is best and cite the data you use in your references.

Questions about the paper itself

Do the appendix and table of contents count toward the page count?

Any code, appendix, or reference page(s) will not count toward your 20-page limit. Complete information about formatting your paper is available within the rules. A link to a solution paper template is provided here (near bottom left column) for teams wishing to use it.

Software Questions

We requested software from MATLAB but have not received it

You should receive the software within 72 hours of requesting it. An alternative way to get MATLAB is to download a 30-day trial of the software from the link below and select the “Data Analytics” package: Free MATLAB Trial.

It can take about 24 hours from when you create your MathWorks account to receive the free trial. If after 24 hours you still don’t see the free trial, please email [email protected]. It is not recommended to request the free trial less than two days before you begin your work time during Challenge weekend, in case the free trial does not arrive in time.

We forgot to request software for M3 Challenge—can we still access the free software you offer?

The deadline to request MATLAB or Wolfram|One for M3 Challenge was Feb 21, 2022.

Team Questions

One (or more) of our team members is a no-show, can we have another student(s) take their place? We had two teams but now we only have five students combined – can we merge into one team?

Yes, you may combine your team members from the same school to create one team, or add and delete students from your team if an unforeseen situation arises, as long as each team has 3-5 students. Make sure you log in and update your team information for whichever team # you use to download the problem, so it accurately reflects the students who participated in the Challenge.

Please update your team account information by 11:59 pm EST on the Tuesday following Challenge weekend.

Some or all of us didn’t do the parental consent form (if teams don’t have all the forms submitted)

There is no penalty for late parental consent forms; get your forms completed during or immediately following Challenge weekend. Parents and guardians can log in to the M3 Challenge website using the team ID and password, click "Team Members" along the right navigation to read the consent statement, and submit an electronic signature via the “Edit/Consent” button next to the relevant student name.

Once judging concludes, teams without these forms completed will be disqualified from top prizes.

Questions about Technical Computing Award

Read the description and scholarship amounts for the M3 Challenge Technical Computing Scholarship Award here. You can also find more information about how to qualify here.

If you want to be eligible you should explain your code methodology in your paper and include your code as an appendix to your paper. Those appendix pages will NOT count toward your 20-page maximum.

Excel (or other spreadsheets) work is NOT eligible for the Technical Computing Award. See formatting guidelines here.  

Note that technical computing or coding of any kind is NOT required to participate in or win M3 Challenge. This award is an add-on, an extra prize in addition to and separate from the normal ranking of winning teams.

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