New custom software implemented in judging of Moody’s Mega Math Challenge

April 23, 2010

Philadelphia, PA – The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) is pleased to announce that it has successfully implemented a custom-designed software program to automate and manage the first phase of the judging process of Moody's Mega Math Challenge, an internet-based applied math modeling competition for high school students, funded by The Moody's Foundation and organized by SIAM. The new software, which was used by about 50 judges throughout March to score the more than 530 submissions to the 2010 Challenge, logs, tracks, calibrates and calculates the scoring of each submission; provides judging instructions and relevant background for each judge; ensures complete password-protected confidentiality of all entries; captures judges' comments clearly and legibly; and enables judges to participate remotely in order to meet critical deadlines. The software also allows for future growth, enhancements, and integration of other supporting systems such as participant registration and management; competition problem distribution; and the uploading of solution papers.

Working with the Challenge's lead judges and consultants, Dr. Lee Seitelman and Dr. Ben Fusaro, and using SIAM specifications, software development firm Nagarro, Inc. designed the custom software product to both replace and replicate the traditional manual, paper-based judging system used in the first four years of the contest. As the Challenge continues to grow each year in both number of submissions and eligible geographic areas, the online system maintains the rigor and veracity of the past while introducing even more functionality.

"We are thrilled with the preliminary feedback regarding the new judging system," said Michelle Montgomery, M3 Project Director. "Many of the judges cited the ability to participate independently despite a full schedule, the flexibility of working at their own pace and during times that were convenient to their schedules, and the positive impact on the environment resulting from a paperless process as some of the highlights of the system."

Seven groups along the East Coast ran judging processes this year, with lead judges at Bentley University, Massachusetts (Dr. Dave Carhart); Clarkson University, New York (Dr. Kelly Black); Florida State University (Dr. Ben Fusaro); Millersville University, Pennsylvania (Dr. Delray Shultz); Salisbury University, Maryland (Dr. Kathleen Shannon); Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania (Dr. Ben Galluzzo); and Virginia Tech (Dr. Terry Herdman). Judges were from those institutions and more – including distant states like Iowa and Alaska, and non-academic organizations like IBM.

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The Challenge

Now in its fifth year, Moody's Mega Math Challenge is an Internet-based math competition open to high school juniors and seniors living in the 18 states along the East Coast. It spotlights applied mathematics as a powerful problem-solving tool, as a viable and exciting profession, and as a vital contributor to advances in an increasingly technical society. Funded by The Moody's Foundation and organized by SIAM, it challenges students, working in teams of three to five, to solve an open-ended, realistic, applied math-modeling problem focused on a real-world issue in just 14 hours using only free and publicly available resources. This year, 531 teams participated in the competition, an increase of about 37% over last year. Scholarship prizes total $100,000 in 2010. Complete details, sample problems, and archives of previous winners and Challenge events are available at http://m3challenge.siam.org.

The Sponsor

The Moody's Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting a variety of nonprofit education, health and human services, civic, and arts and culture programs. Established by Moody's Corporation in 2001, the Foundation's primary area of giving is secondary and higher education with a focus on mathematics, economics and finance. Further information is available at: http://philanthropy.moodys.com. Moody's is an essential component of the global capital markets, providing credit ratings, research, tools and analysis that contribute to transparent and integrated financial markets.

Moody's Corporation (NYSE: MCO), an essential component of the global capital markets, provides, credit ratings, research, tools, and analysis that contribute to transparent, and integrated financial markets. Moody's Corporation is the parent company of Moody's Investors Service and Moody's Analytics, encompassing Moody's non-ratings businesses. With revenues of $1.8 billion in 2009, Moody's employs approximately 4,000 people worldwide and maintains a presence in 27 countries. Further information is available at www.moodys.com.

The Organizer

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), headquartered in Philadelphia, serves and advances the disciplines of applied mathematics and computational science by publishing a variety of books and prestigious peer-reviewed research journals, by conducting conferences, and by hosting activity groups in various areas of mathematics. It is an international society of over 13,000 applied and computational mathematicians and computer scientists, as well as other scientists and engineers. Members are researchers, educators, students, and practitioners from 90 countries working in industry, government, laboratories, and academia. The Society, which also includes nearly 500 academic and corporate institutional members, SIAM provides many opportunities for students including regional sections and student chapters. Further information is available at www.siam.org.

About Nagarro

Nagarro builds complex, business-critical products and applications that help companies meet their core business goals and gain competitive advantage. Nagarro's complete commitment to the success of every project, unmatched engineering skill and quality, and deep domain expertise in numerous industries build on a shared vision of success between Nagarro and each of its customers. Founded in 1996, Nagarro has offices in the US, Germany, Mexico, Sweden and India. For more information, please visit www.nagarro.com.

Awards and Recognition

2009 ASAE Associations Advance America (AAA) Award of Excellence

2008 Excellence Award, Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP)

2006 Graphic Design USA's American Inhouse Design Award


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