Moody's Mega Math Challenge is a mathematical modeling contest for high school students sponsored by The Moody's Foundation and organized by SIAM. The M3 Challenge 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.
(Pictured: The fiver person Regis team at the completion of their day of work)
The contest introduces high school students to applied mathematics by giving them an opportunity to work in teams to tackle a real-world problem under time and resource constraints akin to those faced by industrial applied mathematicians. The all-senior Regis team was comprised of Timmy Foxen '15, Liam Kelly '15, Ryan Hall '15, Nick Sarkis '15 and Fred Kauber '15.
The challenged posed to the students was as follows: "STEM Sells: What is higher education really worth? Can modeling show the cost, return, and value of a college education?"
"We gathered in a classroom at Regis at 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning [February 28] and worked straight through until 9:00 p.m. that night," said Fred Kauber '15. "We used the chalkboard as a resource to record our brainstorming ideas."
Kauber felt that the team collaborated well and took advantage of their individual strengths.
"We were all very confident in our individual abilities, so we were able to divide tasks well. We focused on different aspects of the problem and then presented our findings to the group. Then we compiled our findings into our research report. We worked well together."
Only 201 of the 1,128 teams that submitted entries were selected to advance to the second round of judging. This next round will be whittled down to six teams. Those teams will then be required to present their papers at Moody's Corporation headquarters in Manhattan.
"I think our report was pretty detailed," added Kauber. "I think we did pretty well."