High school students in New England and Mid-Atlantic states to compete for $80,000

November 10, 2008

Moody's Mega Math Challenge expands and increases scholarship prizes

Online registration opens today for the 2009 Moody's Mega Math (M3) Challenge, an Internet-based applied mathematics contest open to high school juniors and seniors in all New England and Mid-Atlantic states, from Maine to Washington, D.C. The real-world math-modeling competition will award scholarship prizes totaling $80,000 with members of the top six winning teams sharing prizes ranging from $2,500 to $20,000. Up to 20 honorable mention team awards of $1,000 each will also be awarded. The 2009 Challenge weekend is March 7-8, and there are no entrance or participation fees.

High schools in eligible areas may register up to two teams of three, four, or five juniors and/or seniors with one teacher serving as the team's coach. Students choose the day that they wish to work on Challenge weekend, either Saturday or Sunday, as well as the location(s) where they will work. They then have 14 hours to solve an applied math-modeling problem focused on real-world issues. Past Challenge problems have covered areas such as social security solvency, stock portfolios, and the wisdom of replacing gas with ethanol.

A five-minute video providing an overview of the Challenge and footage of previous winners can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClUENL4z2_Y.

Conducted annually by The Moody's Foundation and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) as part of their shared commitment to increasing students' interest in studying and pursuing careers in applied mathematics, the M3 Challenge spotlights applied mathematics as a powerful problem-solving tool, as a vital contributor to advances in an increasingly technical society, and as a viable and exciting profession.

The M3 Challenge, which began in 2006 in metropolitan New York City and the surrounding areas, expanded in 2008 to include Boston, Philadelphia, and the environs, sweeping from lower New Hampshire to Wilmington, Delaware. It now encompasses the entire Northeast, from Maine to Washington D.C. In the first three years, approximately 540 teams comprised of 2400 students participated and almost $200,000 in scholarship prizes was awarded.

For more information, visit http://m3challenge.siam.org.

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About 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 Corporation (NYSE: MCO), an essential component of the global capital markets, provides credit ratings, research, tools and analysis that contribute to stable, 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 $2.3 billion in 2007, Moody's employs approximately 3,600 people worldwide and maintains a presence in 27 countries. Further information is available at www.moodys.com.

The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) awarded Moody's Corporation a 2008 Excellence Award for Moody's Mega Math Challenge, citing the company's "sophisticated giving program that encourages students to develop a passion for mathematics, economics, and finance."

About the Organizer
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, is an international society of almost 12,000 individual members. These include applied and computational mathematicians and computer scientists, as well as other scientists and engineers. Members are researchers, educators, students, and practitioners from 85 countries in industry, government, laboratories, and academia. The Society, which also includes nearly 500 academic and corporate institutional members, 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. SIAM provides many opportunities for students including regional sections and student chapters. Further information is available at www.siam.org.


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