2009: Judge Commentary

Judge Commentary

Kelly Black, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Clarkson University

The topic for the 2009 Moody’s Mega Math Challenge was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The participants were asked to decide which elements of the bill will yield the largest increases in employment, how long it will take to produce results, and whether or not a second stimulus bill will be required. The student teams interpreted the questions in different ways, and the rich variety of the responses added to the outstanding quality of the submissions.

We are grateful for the effort and insights provided by the students who took part in the competition. We are also grateful for the work of the coaches who helped to prepare the student teams. The dedication shown by these advisers and students continues to augment the success of the Challenge.

In response to the efforts of the teams, we hope to provide some insight into this year’s competition. Here we first provide an overview of the judging process in section 2. Next we discuss some of the negative aspects of some of the entries in section 3 and then discuss the positive aspects in section 4. Finally, we offer some general observations about modeling and the presentation of results in section 5.