A group of Huntington High School juniors and seniors was up to the grueling MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge, working on a mind-numbing problem for 14 hours last Saturday.
The contest was sponsored by the Philadelphia based Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, an international organization of more than 14,000 academic and corporate members spread across 85 countries. The society helps build cooperation between mathematics and the worlds of science and technology to solve real-world problems.
Huntington High School math teachers Monica Racz and Jordan Schessler worked with two teams of students in the library on Leap Day; February 29.
“Through participation, students experience what it’s like to work as a team to tackle a real-world problem under time and resource constraints, akin to those faced by professional mathematicians working in industry,” according to organizers.
Team No. 1 consisted of Lily Stein, Lia Shechter, Bryan Wong, Andrew Knowles and Gabriel Medina-Jaudes and was coached by Mrs. Racz.
Team No. 2 featured James Obermaier, Jessica Quintanilla, Ryan Knowles, Max Mittleman and Matt Gennarelli and was coached by Ms. Schessler.
“The problem required collaboration on topics in math, economics and physics,” Mrs. Racz said. “We were so impressed with the conversations students were having to figure out how to approach the problem.”
Teams were required to submit a 20 page paper, including a math model to justify their data and assumptions.
“We were so proud to watch how hard they worked for the 10 hours at the school and then they continued at home,” Mrs. Racz said. “The thought they put into this made me feel that the problems of tomorrow can be solved by our students. The competition is very tough, however the experience will stay with them forever.”