Official Rules and Guidelines - 2017 Challenge

Here's a printable PDF of the Officail Rules and Guidelines

Eligiblity

  • High schools in the U.S. (including US territories and DoDEA schools) are eligible.

  • A maximum of two (2) teams per school, each consisting of three (3) to five (5) students and one (1) teacher-coach, may register for the M3 Challenge. 

  • Teams must be comprised of high school juniors and seniors from the same school; absolutely no exceptions will be made to allow underclassmen.  For M3 purposes, your high school is the school name that will appear on your diploma.

  • Dual enrollment programs, magnet programs, and other academic or training programs that draw students from more than one high school for a subset of classes are only eligible to form teams if they comprise a separate high school from which the student will graduate.

  • International and exchange students may participate in the Challenge provided they are officially enrolled at an eligible team’s high school at the time of registration and through completion of the Challenge. 

  • Homeschool and cyber school students may either form their own team(s) or request to participate on a team at the public high school in the school district in which they reside. All efforts to contact the public school are up to the home or cyber schooled student. However, homeschool and cyber school students may instead elect to form their own team(s), and may do so under these guidelines: 

    • Homeschool students may form a team made up entirely of other homeschool students. All students must reside in the same state and be high school juniors and/or seniors. If grade level is not applicable, the eligible age is 16-18 years old. A signed Homeschool Affidavit Form is required for each homeschooled student participating in the Challenge.

    • Cyber school students may form a team of students from the cyber school at which all team members are enrolled, which means all students must be on track to receive a diploma from the registering cyber school. Students must reside within the U.S., and must be full-time high school juniors and/or seniors. In cases where grade level is not assigned or applicable, the eligible age is 16-18 years old. Transient students taking classes below a full-time course load are not eligible. A signed Cyber School Affidavit Form is required for each cyber schooled student participating in the Challenge.

    • Online high schools and other hybrid organizations should read the eligibility requirements carefully to see if they are able to participate. Base requirements – in 2017 – the main location or home office is in the U.S.; maximum two teams per school, 11th and 12th graders only; all team members on track to receive their high school diploma, with the name of that organization as the student’s high school.

  • Children, grandchildren, and siblings of employees, officers, directors, or trustees of SIAM or The Moody's Foundation are not eligible to participate in Moody's Mega Math Challenge.

Back to top

Rules and Guidelines

  • Teams must register by the February 17, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. EST deadline. The teacher-coach registers the school information and inputs team members’ information. Team records may be changed and updated through Monday, February 27, at 12 midnight EST in order to reflect the students who actually participate in the Challenge.

  • Choose your continuous 14-hour work time during Challenge weekend 2017: that is February 24 at 12:00 noon EST through February 27 at 8:00 a.m. EST – please make sure you convert your local time to EST to plan your work time.

  • During Challenge weekend, once any member of your team (coach or student) downloads the problem, your team has exactly 14 continuous hours to submit a solution and the clock cannot be paused. You should download the problem with at least 14 hours before the firm end of Challenge weekend in order to have use of the full 14 hours allowed.

  • Team members may not discuss any aspect of the problem with, nor seek help from via any means or method, the coach or anyone other than their teammates over Challenge weekend. Any attempts to get help from human sources–in person or via any medium–will result in disqualification. This includes attempts to seek assistance through interactive “help” websites or social media. The Internet is continually monitored during Challenge weekend and violators will be disqualified. Seeking assistance outside of the team grossly violates the spirit of the Challenge. Posting or sharing any part or all of the problem statement anywhere during Challenge weekend is strictly prohibited and results in disqualification and sanction.

  • Teams may identify themselves with their team number ONLY. Having any other identifying information included on a submission will exclude the team from possible Finalist status.

  • A team may use computers, software packages, books, reference works, or any other inanimate sources, all of which must be properly referenced within the solution paper. 

  • Teams can work from any location they choose.

  • Teams should act with integrity. Unethical or disrespectful submissions will be flagged for follow-up. Coaches must impress upon all team members the need for honesty and integrity. In addition to disqualification, a letter of admonition will be sent to the principal and the coach of any school whose students submit an unethical or disrespectful solution.

  • All decisions made by the judges are final and are not subject to challenge or appeal. There is no passing score and numerical scores will not be assigned.

  • A team’s complete submission will become the sole and confidential property of Moody's and SIAM. The coach and team members agree to permit Moody's and SIAM to use any information contained in their entry for publicity purposes in any media.

  • It is the sole responsibility of the individual schools to (a) provide any specialized staff or assistance for team members with special needs to participate as required by law and (b) provide and be responsible for any transportation of the team members to Challenge events. Neither SIAM nor Moody's is responsible for any risk, injury, or damage related in any way to any student's or team's participation in the Challenge.

  • By registering, you agree to receive the important emails from Moody’s Mega Math Challenge via MailChimp, the email communication service used by the Challenge. Please whitelist M3challenge@siam.org in order to receive these emails.

  • The top six Finalist teams in the Challenge will be invited to Moody’s Corporation headquarters in Manhattan to present their papers for the final confirmation phase of judging (see “Important Dates”). Presentations by the entire teams are a requirement for winning one of the top six prizes. Teams that are unable to present their papers or are unable to have all members present for the final event, are not eligible for one of the Finalist prizes. Exceptions may be made for medically-documented reasons, but are at the discretion of the organizers.

Back to top

Preparation of your Solution Paper Submission

  • Format

    • Solution papers must be typed and in English.

    • Papers must be in standard 8½ x 11 document format, no longer than 20 single-sided pages in length. Please use a minimum font size (12) and minimum 1''margins (all around).

    • Each page of the solution paper must contain the team's ID # and page number in the header at the top of the page. For example: Team # 1234, page 1 of 15. 

    • A solution paper must be contained in a single file upload and must be formatted as a PDF. No other file types will be accepted.

    • Multiple files contained in a ZIP file or other compressed file format will not be accepted. No supplemental files should be uploaded with your solution paper.

    • Charts, tables, and other graphics must be embedded into the PDF document.

  • Content 

    • Organization, conciseness, and clarity of the solution paper are critical.

    • Provide only your team ID #. Do NOT include your school name, any student names, or any other identifying information in your solution paper.

    • A solution paper should answer all questions posed and have the following elements:

SUMMARY of results must be at the first page of your solution paper, clearly identified and not more than one page in length.  It should be a concise, straightforward explanation of the main results and answer the questions posed, written with minimal use of technical language.  Judges will not read past a poorly written summary.

The body of your paper should include: 

RESTATEMENT of the problem, and JUSTIFICATION of all assumptions.

ANALYSIS of the problem, DESIGN of the model, and JUSTIFICATION of the modeling used.

DISCUSSION of how the model can be tested for accuracy, stability, and sensitivity to assumptions.

  • Citations 

References and citations should be in the body of the paper in-text, as well as listed at the end of the paper in a bibliography or references page. No particular citation style is required, but citations should be consistent throughout.

Teams are required to provide citations to original source materials whenever they make use of a direct quote, an image or figure, a basic fact, or an idea from a source.

  • Code

If you write code as part of your solution paper or an appendix (not required), you should explain the methodology, but do not include the code in the solution paper. Judges will not spend time reading and interpreting code submissions.

  • Submission of Record

You may upload your solution paper at any time from the start of your Challenge time until your deadline. If you upload more than once, your most recent upload will entirely replace any previous versions and will become your submission of record – this is the submission on which you will be judged.

No supplemental materials will be accepted once you have submitted your final solution paper.  If your upload attempts are problematic, as a last resort you may email your submission - prior to your deadline, and as an attached PDF file.

  • Partial solutions are acceptable 

The judges are particularly interested in each team’s approach and methods. Judges will read, score and (most often) provide feedback and comments on partial solutions. Even if you feel you did not complete or get far enough, submit it. Creativity, good work, and acknowledging where you fall short and what you would have done with more time could get you recognized.

  • Authenticity

By uploading a solution paper during Challenge weekend, you are guaranteeing that the work is completely your own. All suspected instances of plagiarism will be taken seriously and investigated. Plagiarism will result in disqualification. The M3 Challenge uses CrossCheck to vet submissions for possible plagiarism.
 

Back to top

Role of Teacher-Coach

  • Teacher-coaches may be part-time or full-time teachers or administrators employed by the team's high school or by the district in which the high school is located. Exceptions may be made and a retired teacher or administrator who is still affiliated with the team’s high school may serve as coach.

  • In the case of two teams from one school, the same teacher may coach both teams or each team may choose to have different teacher-coaches from the same school.
     
  • The teacher-coach is responsible for registering the team correctly and for ensuring that all parts of the registration process are accurate and complete. If possible, teacher-coaches should help prepare the teams for the Challenge using resources like the math modeling handbook, the GAIMME report, math modeling video series, and from the archives, previous problems, winning solutions, and insights from judge’s perspectives – all freely available on the M3 Challenge site. Also check out “Tips and Guidance”, and other Resources on this site for great suggestions for a successful Challenge weekend.
     
  • Teacher coaches and team members should take note of and safeguard their team ID # and shared password. It is possible to recover the password at the login page
     
  • The teacher-coach is responsible for submitting the Authenticity Certification during the week following the Challenge. The teacher-coach will be notified via email that the form is available at the "Authenticate" page behind the login page. This certification means only that the teacher-coach has had a conversation with the team (or the team captain who speaks for the team) following their final submission and is able to ascertain to the best of their knowledge that the team worked with integrity, did not violate any of the rules of the Challenge, and that the submission is legitimate.
     
  • Teacher-coaches are not required to be physically with or near the team during Challenge weekend. If you do not plan to be with or near your students during Challenge weekend, please be sure they have their team ID # and password readily available so they are able to login, download the problem, and upload their solution paper. 

Back to top

Consents and Certifications

  • Understanding Rules and Guidelines

As part of the team registration, teacher-coaches must acknowledge that they and their student team members have read and understand the rules. This certification is built into the registration process.

  • Authenticity Certification 

The teacher-coach for each team will be prompted via email immediately after Challenge weekend to electronically certify authenticity after the team submits its final solution paper. Certification is due at M3 Challenge headquarters on or before 8:00 p.m. EST on the Friday following Challenge weekend. 

  • Parental/Guardian Consent

Each student team member’s parent or guardian must login with the team credentials and electronically sign their consent. All consents must be completed by Challenge weekend. 

  • Winning Teams

For teams distinguished with Honorable Mention, Semi-Finalist, or Finalist status, each winning team member must fill out an online Scholarship Payment Form so that payment of their scholarship prize can be processed. Student winners who are juniors also need to complete this form; their scholarship payment will be held in escrow until they are ready to use it. The link to the Scholarship Payment Form will be made available to prize winners at the time of recognition; and the date we receive the form will influence when your scholarship check will be mailed.

Back to top