633 teams + 2,884 students in 18 states = M3 Challenge 2010

March 2, 2010

Teens vie for $100,000 in scholarships in Moody's Mega Math Challenge

What could possibly motivate teenagers to willingly get of bed and do math before 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday or Sunday morning? Well, for 2,884 high school juniors and seniors from Maine to Florida it is the chance to win a share of $100,000 in scholarship prizes in Moody's Mega Math Challenge, an entirely Internet-based, applied math-modeling challenge designed to increase interest in and encourage high school students to pursue math-related studies and careers.

Armed with laptops and desktops, calculators and caffeine, 633 teams comprised of three to five students each will gather in kitchens, libraries, cafés, and classrooms -- actually anywhere they choose -- to solve an applied math-modeling problem based on a real-world issue. The topic is entirely unknown to the participants until they download the problem at 7:00 a.m. on March 6 or 7, whichever day they selected at registration. Using any free, publicly available, and inanimate sources of information to help them, teams have until 9:00 p.m. that same night to research the problem, formulate assumptions, develop and test a model, analyze their findings, and summarize their response in a solution paper, which they will then upload to the Challenge website.

After a rigorous two-stage judging process by teams of Ph.D.-level applied mathematicians, the top six teams will present their findings to a final panel of professional mathematicians at the Moody's Corporation headquarters in Manhattan on Wednesday, April 28. Winners will be announced and presented with scholarship prizes at an awards ceremony immediately following this final presentation round of judging.

The M3 Challenge began in 2006 in metropolitan New York City and its surrounding areas and now encompasses the entire East Coast. Upwards of 1,600 teams comprised of over 7,500 students have been involved in Moody's Mega Math Challenge since its inception and have competed for close to $400,000 in scholarship prizes. Find out if your local high school is fielding a team in this weekend's competition by checking the 2010 Registered Schools list, organized by state and county, at http://m3challenge.siam.org/pdf/registered_schools10.pdf.

For more information about Moody's Mega Math Challenge, visit http://m3challenge.siam.org.

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