The Evanstonian

Finalists from 36 hour math challenge compete to be US representatives

Meredith Herrick, News Writer

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Five teams from ETHS have been invited by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications to compete nationally following their success in the 36 hour math challenge this fall.

If the teams place within the top two in the nation, they will be invited to work on the COMAP international math modeling challenge.

 “This was the first time I participated in a competition like this,” senior Oscar Michel said. “I  was surprised when I found out how well we did.”

    The challenge, like the 36 hour competition, is an open ended problem. The teams will be working for five consecutive days of their choosing over spring break.

     The teams use a lot of python coding, a coding language to make different types of computer programs. It is a high level of computer programing that can be made into anything from a memory system to an object-oriented program. Teams use this to make programs that can quickly solve for the best solution.

     “You can’t have good analysis without computer programming,” Michel said.

The programming is essential because of the large amount of data that they will be using. There can be hundreds of data points just for one specific problem.

      The company who runs the contests is Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP). They are a non profit organization that runs the challenges and awards the scholarship money to the teams who win. COMAP has run smaller and larger scale contests around the world, with about 7636 teams who competed in the international 2015 math modeling challenge.

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Finalists from 36 hour math challenge compete to be US representatives