The Moody’s Foundation partners with the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) on a new high school math competition

The Moody’s Foundation partners with the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) on a new high school math competition

December 1, 2005

The Moody's Foundation has partnered with the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) for the first-ever Moody's Mega Math Challenge (M3 Challenge), an applied mathematics competition open to high school students in the New York City metro geographic area that will award scholarships for continuing education totaling up to $67,500. Scheduled to take place over the weekend of March 4-5, 2006, the competition will spotlight 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. Scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 per team will be awarded to high school juniors and seniors for excellence, creativity, and originality in quantitative and qualitative reasoning. Teachers serving as "coaches" will receive honoraria.

"Our goal, and the goal of the competition, is to motivate high school students to think about solving real-world problems using applied mathematics," said Frances G. Laserson, President, The Moody's Foundation. "We want to increase students' interest in pursuing math-related studies and careers in college and beyond."

According to the competition's rules, teams of three to five high school juniors and seniors will be required to complete an open-ended, realistic, challenging, modeling problem focused on real-world issues. Each team will have a "coach" who must be a teacher at their school. A local panel of first-round judges will read each solution paper, eliminate the bottom one-third of submissions, and rank each remaining paper according to guidelines. A panel of final judges will then calibrate the remaining papers and choose the winning teams. Individual scholarships will be paid directly to the colleges or universities at which the winning students enroll.

"We are very excited about this competition," said Michelle Montgomery, SIAM Marketing Manager and developer of the competition along with Professor Bernard A. Fusaro, Florida State University, and Dr. Leon H. Seitelman, United Technologies (retired). "Our goal is to attract 50 to 75 teams, about 250 students, to compete the first year. We want to raise awareness among high school students of the many opportunities available in the various fields of mathematics and show them how many career options there are for math majors."

The Moody's Foundation is a charitable foundation established by Moody's Corporation. Moody's Corporation (NYSE: MCO) is the parent company of Moody's Investor Service, a leading provider of credit ratings, research, and analysis covering debt instruments and securities in the global capital markets, and Moody's KMV, the leading provider of market-based quantitative services for banks and investors in credit-sensitive assets serving the world's largest financial institutions. The corporation, which reported revenue of $1.4 billion in 2004, employs approximately 2,500 people worldwide and maintains offices in 19 countries. Further information is available at

SIAM, headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, is an international community of over 10,000 individual members, including applied and computational mathematicians, computer scientists, and other scientists and engineers. The Society advances these fields through a series of premier journals and a wide selection of conferences. With over 500 academic and corporate institutional members, SIAM serves 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 supports regional sections and student chapters that provide many opportunities for students. Montgomery noted that "one of the primary goals of the organization is to increase the pipeline of students into applied math studies and careers." More information about SIAM is available at

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