2022: Judge Commentary

Judge Commentary

Kelly Black, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics, University of Georgia

The 2022 M3 Challenge posed three questions centered around the future trends of remote work. The start of the COVID-19 pandemic initiated an abrupt change in how work from home is perceived, and it resulted in a broad evaluation of our shared assumptions about the efficacy of working from home. To answer the three questions, students had to predict how many jobs could be performed at home in the near future, decide how to predict whether or not a person would work from home, and then combine their findings from the first two questions to predict future trends for five different cities.

In the commentary that follows, I will provide some insights into what I observed for each of the three questions as well as provide some general comments that are relevant to any modeling effort. The list of observations given here is not complete, and I recommend reading the commentaries from previous years for a more exhaustive list of things to consider.

Once again, student teams submitted an outstanding collection of entries. Despite the challenges of the last two years, students still amaze us as we read their incredible work. We are also reminded that this event would not be possible without the efforts of the students and the support they receive from their teacher-coaches. We recognize that the last two years have been difficult and the pandemic continues to place considerable stresses on everybody. To see students and advisers continue to push themselves to achieve and take part in these kinds of exercises is inspiring, and we are grateful for the example you set.