Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge Offers Resources for STEM Education

Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge Offers Resources for STEM Education

Competition gives high school students access to tools for learning applied math

December 10, 2015

You’ve heard it before – the age old complaint from students across the U.S. and beyond, "Why should we learn math that we'll never use in real life?" While this is nothing new, modern day math teaching often relies heavily on pure math and theoretical techniques with abstract outcomes. In an effort to quell students’ concerns and help teachers respond to this question, Moody's Mega Math (M3) Challenge gives students free access to quality software and other resources to offer a fun, insightful approach to math modeling and its real-world applications.

M3 Challenge is a math modeling competition for junior and senior high school students and the M3 Challenge website is a gateway to resources created specifically to help students become more familiar with applied math. While anyone can view online or freely download the math modeling handbook, “Math Modeling: Getting Started and Getting Solutions,” practice problems, and past winning solutions, only registered teams have access to additional tips and information, including MathWorks’ MATLAB software and a complimentary one-year license to Wolfram’s Mathematica software. Both of these programs contain hands-on tools that participants can use to prepare for the competition, apply to the Challenge problem, and continue to use throughout the year.

“The M3 Challenge invites participants to apply their mathematical skills to a thought-provoking, real-world problem, which frequently serves as their entry point to math modeling as a new interest or even career path,” says Dr. Benjamin Galluzzo, associate professor of mathematics at Shippensburg University and M3 judge and problem development committee member. 

MATLAB software is used by professional engineers and scientists to help them build important career skills through the use of image processing, computer vision, robotics, and mechatronics tools that may help with math modeling. Mathematica is a dynamic computation system that includes tutorials, screen casts, and getting-started video features for guidance. Using these tools may give participants a better chance for success in the competition.

“By providing participants access to resources they might not normally encounter in the classroom, M3 Challenge offers students the opportunity to engage in and explore math modeling year round,” says Galluzzo. “This challenge really is a unique opportunity for students to use applied problem-solving skills on a real issue facing industry or society.”

This years’ Challenge weekend starts February 27, 2016 at 12:00 a.m. and ends February 28, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. The Challenge problem is not revealed until Challenge day.

The national competition will award up to $150,000 to its winners. Register for the Challenge today! Registration closes February 19, 2016 at 4 p.m. EST.

About the Sponsor
Built on the recognition that a company grows stronger by helping others, The Moody’s Foundation works to enhance its communities and the lives of its employees by providing grants and engaging in community service in local neighborhoods. The Moody’s Foundation, established in 2002 by Moody’s Corporation, partners with nonprofit organizations to support initiatives such as education in the fields of mathematics, finance, and economics, as well as workforce development, civic affairs, and arts and culture. For more information, please visit

About the Organizer
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an international society of more than 14,000 individual, academic and corporate members from 85 countries. SIAM helps build cooperation between mathematics and the worlds of science and technology to solve real-world problems through publications, conferences, and communities like chapters, sections and activity groups. Learn more at

Related Videos

  • Using Algebra and Geometry in the Real World

  • Careers in STEM : Why They’re Important

  • Communicating Complex Topics to the Public