Student winners of SIAM Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling present papers at SIAM Annual Meeting

July 14, 2008

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) recognized the 2007 and 2008 winners of the SIAM Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (SIAM/MCM Award) at the SIAM Annual Meeting in San Diego, California where they had the opportunity to present their winning papers.

2008 winners of the SIAM Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling:

Problem A, the Continuous Problem: Take a Bath
Fighting the Waves: The Effect of North Pole Ice Cap Melt on Florida
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (SUNY)
Amy M. Evans, Tracy L. Stepien
Faculty advisor: John Ringland, Department of Mathematics
*The UB team also won the Ben Fusaro Award, named for the founder of the contest.

Problem B, the Discrete Problem: Creating Sudoku Puzzles
hsolve: A Difficulty Metric and Puzzle Generator for Sudoku
Harvard University
Christopher Chang, Zhou Fan, Yi Sun
Faculty advisor: Clifford H. Taubes, Department of Mathematics

The 2007 recipients of the SIAM Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling were also recognized and had the opportunity to present their solution papers at the 2008 SIAM Annual Meeting.

2007 winners of the SIAM Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling:

Problem A, the Continuous Problem: Gerrymandering
Electoral Redistricting with the Moment of Inertia and Diminishing Halves Models
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Daniel Gulotta, Daniel Kane, Andrew Spann
Faculty advisor: Martin Z. Bazant, Department of Mathematics

Problem B, the Discrete Problem: The Airplane Seating Problem
Board – Step by Step: A Cellular Automaton Approach to Optimizing Aircraft Boarding Time
University of Stellenbosch, Republic of South Africa
Andreas Hafver, Chris Rohwer, Louise Viljoen
Faculty advisor: Jan H. van Vuuren, Department of Mathematical Sciences

Established in 1988, the SIAM Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling is awarded to two teams judged "outstanding" in the annual MCM. 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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