Thousands of high school students gearing up for MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge

Thousands of high school students gearing up for MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge


February 27, 2018

More than 5,000 high school students from throughout the United States will spend up to 14 consecutive hours this weekend trying to devise the best solution to a real-life, open-ended problem presented to them in MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge.  Six of the 1,100+ teams competing this year will be judged as the best and invited to present their findings to a panel of professional mathematicians in New York City on April 30. They are guaranteed a share of $100,000 in scholarships that will be awarded to top finishers by MathWorks, the competition’s sponsor.

Using the mathematical modeling process, as well as other skills and experiences, participants will work in teams of 3-5 to understand and define the problem, gather data and information, document their assumptions, and devise a math model to provide insight for decisions about the issue before submitting their solution via computer upload. Preparation is key in this high-stakes competition.

“Understanding the format of a modeling paper (in particular, good sensitivity analysis) and growing comfortable with basic statistical packages (Python or R) is important for anyone who wants to do well in this competition and increase their chances of winning some scholarship money,” says Eshan Tewari, a member of the Montgomery Blair High School 2017 Finalist Team. Many of the other students and teachers who have been successful in past M3 Challenges recommend making good use of the freely available resources to prepare in advance.

To give every team the opportunity for success in the modeling process, the competition offers participants free access to many helpful resources, including two math modeling handbooks; free licenses to software tools from MathWorks and Wolfram; and easy-to-watch video clips describing the modeling process.

Now in its thirteenth year, M3 Challenge is a unique, Internet-based competition in which the problem topic remains unknown until participants download it during Challenge weekend (March 2–5 this year). Originally offered only in the New York City metropolitan area in 2006, the competition is now open to students nationwide and to those in all U.S. territories and DoDEA schools. This year 1,133 teams from 47 U.S. states have registered.

M3 Challenge is organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) to motivate students to pursue careers in science and math.

To find out which schools in your area registered for M3 Challenge this year, view the full list of registered teams. Learn more about M3 Challenge.

About the Sponsor

MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design for multi-domain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MATLAB and Simulink are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world's universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 3500 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit

About the Organizer
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an international society of more than 14,500 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

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