Registration open for high school math modeling competition

Registration open for high school math modeling competition

$115,000 in scholarships will be awarded

November 1, 2012

Philadelphia, PA--In the hands of the right people, math has the power to connect cities with a high-speed rail line, determine the consequences of an economic stimulus, and consider the viability of corn-derived ethanol to power our engines and counter rising gas prices. The "right people," in this case, are the thousands of students who compete each year in Moody's Mega Math (M3) Challenge, an Internet-based competition that requires participants to analyze and interpret relevant issues in an effort to provide practical solutions.

Registration opens today for the 2013 Challenge, which will award members of the top teams a total of $115,000 toward their pursuit of higher education.

If you have classmates or students who could provide the right combination for a winning solution to this year's Challenge question, encourage them to participate. M3 Challenge weekend is set for March 2 and 3, 2013. Register your team here. Registration is free and open only to teams of high school juniors and seniors in the eastern United States.

Sponsored by The Moody's Foundation and organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the contest was open only to the New York City metropolitan area during its maiden year in 2006. It has undergone four expansions and has awarded $590,000 to date. Teams from 29 states are now invited to register for the 2013 Challenge--check your state's eligibility. Future expansions will have the contest nationwide by 2016.

The Challenge requires contenders to attempt to solve an open-ended, math-modeling problem focused on a realistic issue. Students are encouraged to address meaningful questions and tap into skills beyond those they routinely encounter in their math classes--problem solving, critical thinking, computer programming, writing, and communication--and students with varying strengths and interests can find a role on the team. The math modeling aspect requires students to collect data, find patterns, create theories, use math tools to prove or disprove those theories, and communicate their results.

The problem remains completely unknown to teams until they login on their Challenge day at 7:00 a.m. after which they have 14 hours to research the question, assemble data, and develop a model. Each submitted paper will be read by several judges who will assess the teams' approach, methods used, and the creativity displayed in math modeling.

"Students can help to solve important real-world problems and that's great. But it's not about making money or the power that math can bring in applied computational sciences--the joy of discovery is what really counts," explained Margaret Wright, Past President of SIAM and Professor in the Computer Science Department at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

The M3 Challenge reminds high schoolers that math is more than just formulas and solving for "x" but for now, we are left wondering what complex, real-world issue the 2013 Challenge will tackle.

About SIAM

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an international society of over 14,000 individual members, including applied and computational mathematicians and computer scientists, as well as other scientists and engineers. Members from 85 countries are researchers, educators, students, and practitioners in industry, government, laboratories, and academia. The Society, which also includes nearly 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

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