Nearly 150 teams to compete for $62,500 in scholarships in Moody’s Mega Math Challenge

Nearly 150 teams to compete for $62,500 in scholarships in Moody’s Mega Math Challenge

February 22, 2006

When registration for the first-ever Moody's Mega Math Challenge (M3 Challenge) closed on Sunday, February 19, nearly 150 teams of high school juniors and seniors in the New York metropolitan area had signed up, hoping to win scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 per team. A total of $62,500 in academic scholarships will be awarded to top teams on April 5, 2006, in Manhattan.

The M3 Challenge is an applied mathematics competition focused on the solution of a realistic, open-ended, challenging modeling problem that deals with a real-world issue. Rules of the unique competition require that student teams work on solving the problem completely independent of teacher or adult input or assistance, that they complete the work within a defined 14-hour time period on March 4 or 5, and that they submit their entries online. The unorthodox format also stipulates that teams work at a location of their choice; there are no test centers. "As far as I know, this type of competition format is unlike any other for high school students," said Michelle Montgomery, M3 Challenge Project Manager. "There will be multiple levels of judging by professional applied mathematicians, including presentations and personal interviews," she added.

Funded by the Moody's Foundation and organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the competition will spotlight applied mathematics as a powerful problem-solving tool, as a viable and exciting profession, and as a vital contributor to advances in an increasingly technical society. Both Moody's and SIAM have identified the pipeline of students choosing to study applied mathematics as an important investment of their resources. "Our goal, and the goal of the competition, is to motivate high school students to think about solving real-world problems using applied mathematics," said Frances G. Laserson, President, The Moody's Foundation. "We want to increase students' interest in pursuing math-related studies and careers in college and beyond."

The Moody's Foundation is a charitable foundation established by Moody's Corporation. Moody's Corporation (NYSE: MCO) is the parent company of Moody's Investor Service, a leading provider of credit ratings, research, and analysis covering debt instruments and securities in the global capital markets, and Moody's KMV, the leading provider of market-based quantitative services for banks and investors in credit-sensitive assets serving the world's largest financial institutions. The corporation employs approximately 2,500 people worldwide and maintains offices in 19 countries. Further information is available at www.moodys.com.

SIAM, headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, is an international community of over 10,000 individual members, including applied and computational mathematicians, computer scientists, and other scientists and engineers. The Society advances these fields through a series of premier journals and a wide selection of conferences. With over 500 academic and corporate institutional members, SIAM serves 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 supports regional sections and student chapters that provide many opportunities for students. One of the primary goals of SIAM is to increase the pipeline of students into applied math studies and careers. More information about SIAM is available at www.siam.org.

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