633 teams + 2,884 students in 18 states = M3 Challenge 2010

633 teams + 2,884 students in 18 states = M3 Challenge 2010

March 2, 2010

Teens vie for $100,000 in scholarships in Moody's Mega Math Challenge

What could possibly motivate teenagers to willingly get out of bed and do math before 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday or Sunday morning? Well, for 2,884 high school juniors and seniors from Maine to Florida it is the chance to win a share of $100,000 in scholarship prizes in Moody's Mega Math Challenge, an entirely Internet-based, applied math-modeling challenge designed to increase interest in and encourage high school students to pursue math-related studies and careers.

Armed with laptops and desktops, calculators and caffeine, 633 teams comprised of three to five students each will gather in kitchens, libraries, cafés, and classrooms -- actually anywhere they choose -- to solve an applied math-modeling problem based on a real-world issue. The topic is entirely unknown to the participants until they download the problem at 7:00 a.m. on March 6 or 7, whichever day they selected at registration. Using any free, publicly available, and inanimate sources of information to help them, teams have until 9:00 p.m. that same night to research the problem, formulate assumptions, develop and test a model, analyze their findings, and summarize their response in a solution paper, which they will then upload to the Challenge website.

After a rigorous two-stage judging process by teams of Ph.D.-level applied mathematicians, the top six teams will present their findings to a final panel of professional mathematicians at the Moody's Corporation headquarters in Manhattan on Wednesday, April 28. Winners will be announced and presented with scholarship prizes at an awards ceremony immediately following this final presentation round of judging.

The M3 Challenge began in 2006 in metropolitan New York City and its surrounding areas and now encompasses the entire East Coast. Upwards of 1,600 teams comprised of over 7,500 students have been involved in Moody's Mega Math Challenge since its inception and have competed for close to $400,000 in scholarship prizes. Find out if your local high school is fielding a team in this weekend's competition by checking the 2010 Registered Schools list, organized by state and county, at /pdf/registered_schools10.pdf.

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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 is an essential component of the global capital markets, providing credit ratings, research, tools and analysis that contribute to transparent and integrated financial markets.

Moody's Corporation (NYSE: MCO), an essential component of the global capital markets, provides, credit ratings, research, tools, and analysis that contribute to transparent, and integrated financial markets. Moody's Corporation is the parent company of Moody's Investors Service and Moody's Analytics, encompassing Moody's non-ratings businesses. With revenues of $1.8 billion in 2009, Moody's employs approximately 4,000 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 12,000 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 almost 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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