Will powerhouse teams win the M3 Challenge again in 2008?

Will powerhouse teams win the M3 Challenge again in 2008?

Strong high school teams with exceptional students to compete in Moody's Mega Math Challenge this March

February 13, 2008

It's anyone's game as Moody's Mega Math (M3) Challenge heats up in a high stakes competition for substantial scholarship prizes awarded by The Moody's Foundation – $65,000 to the top 11 teams! High school students and teachers in eligible counties* throughout Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and surrounding areas are gearing up for March 8 and 9 – the M3 Challenge weekend. Will the influx of new students along with the expansion to the Boston and Philadelphia regions bring new powerhouse schools to the forefront or will the veteran schools come back stronger than ever this year?

Last year 156 teams submitted viable solution papers, which underwent a vigorous three-stage blind-judging process consisting of multiple reads of each paper by Ph.D.-level applied mathematicians. Eventually, the best 11 submissions emerge and the top six teams present their papers to a panel of judges who determine the final ranking for scholarship prizes. The other five teams receive honorable mention awards. In 2006, Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut, finished on top with Immaculata High School in Somerville, New Jersey, placing second. In 2007, Manalapan High School, in Manalapan, New Jersey, fielded both of the top two teams! Will these schools place in the top 11 again this year?

Manalapan High School has been a strong contender both years (in 2006, they also had two teams in the top 11), and although neither Staples nor Immaculata placed last year, there is little doubt that they will field strong teams again. But there are other schools that have been just as impressive. In both 2006 and 2007, High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey, had a team place in the top six. Great Neck North High School in Great Neck, New York, also placed a team in the top six two years running, and in 2007, St. Peter's Preparatory School in Jersey City, New Jersey, had two teams in the top 11. Many other schools fielding exceptional teams have not yet won a prize. And since many students who participated in both 2006 and 2007 have graduated, the M3 Challenge could see a lot of fresh faces this year.

Who will win in 2008? We'll have to wait until April 30 to see.

*High school juniors and seniors attending schools in the following counties in selected states: Connecticut: Statewide; Delaware: New Castle; Massachusetts: Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, Worcester;New Hampshire: Hillsborough, Rockingham; New Jersey: Statewide; New York:Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Nassau, New York (Manhattan), Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester; Pennsylvania: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia; Rhode Island: Statewide.


About the Challenge

The M3 Challenge spotlights 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. Scholarship prizes total $65,000. The Challenge is entirely Internet-based and there are no entrance or participation fees. Each high school may enter up to two teams of three to five students each. Students choose which day they wish to work on Challenge weekend, March 8 or 9, and have 14 hours to solve an open-ended, realistic, applied math-modeling problem focused on real-world issues. Teams can work from any location they choose and can use any free and publicly available resources, but they may not discuss any aspect of the problem with, or seek help from, their coach or anyone other than their teammates.

About the Sponsor

The Moody's Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting a variety of nonprofit education, health and human services, civic, and arts and culture programs. Established by Moody's Corporation in 2001, the Foundation's primary area of giving is secondary and higher education with a focus on mathematics, economics and finance. Further information is available at http://philanthropy.moodys.com.

Moody's Corporation (NYSE: MCO), an essential component of the global capital markets, provides credit ratings, research, tools and analysis that contribute to stable, transparent and integrated financial markets. Moody'sCorporation is the parent company of Moody's Investors Service and Moody's Analytics, encompassing Moody's non-ratings businesses. With revenues of $2.3 billion in 2007, Moody's employs approximately 3,600 people worldwide and maintains a presence in 27 countries. Further information is available at www.moodys.com.

About the Organizer

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, is an international society of over 11,000 individual members. These include applied and computational mathematicians and computer scientists, as well as other scientists and engineers. Members are researchers, educators, students, and practitioners from 85 countries in industry, government, laboratories, and academia. The Society, which also includes more than 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 www.siam.org.

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