Getting started with math modeling can be both puzzling and fun. Some students who have always succeeded in straightforward theoretical mathematics find it disconcerting when they’re not able to go directly into their math toolkit for answers, and instead must spend time defining the problem and its variables, making assumptions, researching, and brainstorming. It is by utilizing the modeling process together with the math they know that students are able to find a solution and then analyze and assess that solution.

If you want to take on real-world problems, but are having trouble thinking outside traditional math operations, the resources in this section will give you the skills and mathematical modeling savvy you need to gain insight and to pose *real* solutions. The freely available handbooks *Math Modeling: Getting Started and Getting Solutions *and *Math Modeling: Computing and Communicating, *the instructive video series in math modeling, the sample problems and winning solution papers, and the tips for teams participating in the Challenge all provide a means for learning math modeling, either as a Challenge contestant, or simply as a motivated student with an interest in applied math. Include code with your solution to be considered for extra credit prizes – motivated teams can access free software licenses and learn to code. A solution paper template has been provided for teams wishing to use it.

## Resources: How to Best Prep for the M3 Challenge