M3 Challenge 2022 and COVID-19

M3 Challenge 2022 and COVID-19

M3 CHALLENGE IS, AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN, A VIRTUAL CONTEST. IN-PERSON CONTACT IS NOT NECESSARY TO REGISTER OR PARTICIPATE.

February 9, 2022

As teachers and students prepare for M3 Challenge 2022, some have asked: How will COVID-19 impact this year’s contest and final event? M3 Challenge has always been a virtual contest. Please try not to be deterred from registering due to COVID-19 concerns. All aspects of the contest except final event are online, so participating completely virtually is 100% feasible.

A few things to allay concerns:

  • Almost all aspects of the contest –registration, access to resource materials and optional software licenses, contest information and communication, and the contest itself – are online. Final event is addressed separately below.
  • Teachers have never been required to be with their teams during Challenge work time–individual teams and schools decide.
  • While most teams have gotten together in person to work on the Challenge problem before COVID, many teams over the years and since COVID have worked in a distributed way, using digital collaboration tools, like Discord or Google docs for example.
  • Working together remotely adds another layer of authenticity to the real-life experience that M3 Challenge provides, including having just 14 hours to brainstorm, devise solutions, and provide insights into a problem that was previously unknown.

Final Event: We are hopefully optimistic that we will be able to have an in-person final event for the top teams on April 25 in New York City (team transportation, accommodation and meals expenses paid by M3 Challenge), but like everyone, we will continue to assess and evaluate the news and world situation daily, and we will have an alternate virtual plan in place if an in-person event is not safe or possible. We plan to make a go/no go decision on in-person final event by no later than March 15 – allowing as much time as possible to try to make it happen. If an in-person event is planned, some new, COVID inspired rules will almost certainly apply for 2022, for example:

  • Vaccination proof required. Possible testing requirements.
  • Masks required except when eating, drinking and possibly when presenting.
  • Team choice to present virtually or in person (mix of both not permitted within a single team); partial teams may represent the entire team if in-person; virtual presentations should include all team members.

M3 Challenge supports careful observations of the protocols of every school, along with local, regional, and national mandates and guidelines. We believe the structure of the M3 Challenge contest is flexible enough for everyone to safely participate.

We look forward to a terrific Challenge in 2022!

MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge
A program of Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

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