Undergraduates receive prizes for work in math modeling

July 15, 2009

Students recognized for winning 2009 SIAM/MCM Award

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) is pleased to announce the 2009 recipients of the SIAM Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (SIAM/MCM Award):

Problem A, the Continuous Problem: Designing a Traffic Circle
A Simulation-Based Assessment of Traffic Circle Control
Harvard University, Department of Mathematics, Cambridge, MA
Christopher Chang, Zhou Fan, Yi Sun
Faculty Advisor: Professor Clifford Taubes

Problem B, the Discrete Problem: Energy and the Cell Phone
America's New Calling
Southwestern University, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Georgetown, TX
Stephen Foster, Bob Potter, Tommy Rogers
Faculty Advisor: Professor Richard Denman

Each student member of the winning teams received a cash award as well as travel expenses to the SIAM Annual Meeting. SIAM/MCM Award winners were recognized at the Prizes and Awards Luncheon during the meeting in Denver, Colorado. Faculty advisors receive a certificate for their home institutions.

Established in 1988, the SIAM/MCM Award is presented to two of the teams judged "outstanding" in the annual MCM, the Mathematical Contest in Modeling administered by COMAP, the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications. The SIAM/MCM judges choose one winning team for each of the two problems posed.

"SIAM judges are long-time SIAM modelers who are interested in undergraduate education. The SIAM judges choose from among the papers that MCM judges have designated as ‘outstanding,' usually about one percent of all the solution papers submitted," said Ben Fusaro, founder of the MCM. "The judges take into account how well the summary and paper are written, the reasonableness of assumptions, and the mathematical analysis employed. However, they emphasize the development of the model, checking the model for sensitivity or stability, and the testing or validation of the model."

The Mathematical Contest in Modeling challenges teams of undergraduate students to clarify, analyze, and propose solutions to open-ended problems. The contest attracts diverse students and faculty advisors from over 500 institutions around the world. More information can be found at http://www.comap.com/undergraduate/contests/.

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