Thousands of high school students to solve MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge

Thousands of high school students to solve MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge


February 27, 2019

Philadelphia, PA – Nearly 5,200 high school students throughout the United States have registered teams and will spend up to 14 consecutive hours this weekend trying to devise the best solution to a real-life, open-ended problem as they participate in MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge. Teams identified through rigorous judging as the six finalists will be invited, with all expenses paid, to present their findings to a panel of professional mathematicians in New York City on April 29, 2019. Winning teams will be awarded a share of $100,000 in scholarships provided 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.

Now in its fourteenth year, M3 Challenge has had a profound impact on many of its participants, including Chris Musco, an M3 Challenge alum who will serve as one of the 150+ Ph.D. level judges for M3 Challenge 2019. “M3 Challenge changed the trajectory of my college major and career,” says Musco, a Research Instructor at Princeton University who was a member of the 2008 finalist team from Wheeler High School in Rhode Island. “I had been involved in other math contests before, but M3 Challenge was the first time I was able to apply math to a real problem in society. I didn’t expect it to be such a rewarding experience. I’m excited to be involved with this terrific program again!”

Preparation is key in this high-stakes competition and many 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 two math modeling handbooks, free licenses to gain experience with commercially popular software tools such as MATLAB and Simulink, easy-to-watch video clips describing the modeling process, and several other free resources.

M3 Challenge is a unique, Internet-based competition in which the problem topic remains unknown until participants download it during Challenge weekend (March 1-4 this year). Originally offered only in the New York City metropolitan area in 2006, the competition is now open to students nationwide, in all U.S. territories, and Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools. This year 1,174 teams from 48 U.S. states and one DoDEA school have registered.

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

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 multidomain 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 4000 people in 16 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit

About the Organizer
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 more than 100 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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