Thousands of students show enthusiasm for virtual math competition amid lockdowns and remote learning

Thousands of students show enthusiasm for virtual math competition amid lockdowns and remote learning


February 25, 2021

Philadelphia, PA – More than 2,800 high school and sixth form students throughout the United States, England, and Wales have registered for this year’s MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge and will spend up to 14 consecutive hours this weekend trying to devise the best solution to a real-life, open-ended problem. Using mathematical modeling, 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 mathematical model to provide insight about the issues presented in the problem. Teams will not know the problem topic until they login on Challenge weekend and must submit their solution via computer upload before their time runs out.

The top six winning teams, as well as those recognized for technical computing distinction, will be identified through a rigorous judging process and will be required to present their findings to a panel of professional mathematicians via video conference on the day of or leading up to the final event. Originally scheduled to take place in-person on April 26 in New York City, the final event and awards presentation will be held virtually instead. M3 Challenge sponsor, Natick, Massachusetts-based MathWorks, a leading global software developer, has added several prizes and $25,000 more in scholarships this year, for a total of $125,000+ (~£90,000) and 50 team prizes

Preparation is key in this unique, internet-based competition. To give every team the opportunity for success in the modeling process, many free online resources are made available.

This year 660 teams have registered: 603 teams from 51 U.S. states and territories, and 57 teams from England and Wales. Teams may start their 14 hours of work when they download the problem, any time during Challenge weekend: February 26 through March 1.

Now in its sixteenth year, M3 Challenge is a program of Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) designed to motivate students to study and pursue careers in science, math, and computing. Learn more about M3 Challenge.

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

About Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
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 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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