UW La Crosse Teams Sweep
Top Honors at Math
Nine teams of undergraduate students from five institutions recently competed in the fourth annual Wisconsin Mathematical Modeling Challenge (WMMC) at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
The competition drew teams from across the Midwest, including groups from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Viterbo University, UW-La Crosse, UW-Stevens Point, and Winona State University.
This year's 'challenge' asked teams to consider one of two problems: 1) Determine the effect on the state's economy if Wisconsin were to change the method used for allocating its electoral college votes, or 2) predict the effect of commercial and residential expansion on the agricultural capacity of the nation. (The full text of each problem statement and the related data sets are available here.) Each team was comprised of three undergraduate students, and teams were given 24 hours to develop a model for their predictions, write an executive summary of their results, and prepare a formal presentation for their peers.
The award for outstanding oral presentation went to the UW-La Crosse team of Isaac Craig, Brett Rosiejka, and Zach Tully, while the award for outstanding written summary went to the UW-La Crosse team of Mac Gallagher, Lance Hildebrand, and Casey Shiring.
On October 20th, 2012, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse department of mathematics hosted the fourth annual Wisconsin Mathematical Modeling Challenge (WMMC). This regional math contest gives undergraduate students the opportunity to apply their math skills to real world problems. In teams of three, students have 23 hours to develop and test a model and write a one-page summary of their findings; teams have one additional (24th) hour to finalize a 10 minute presentation explaining their results. Soon after preparing their presentations, teams present their findings to other student WMMC participants. The event concludes with an award ceremony that highlights the work of winning teams as determined by students and advisors.
Why the WMMC?
COMAP's Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) successfully encourages teamwork, creativity and written exposition. However, one (logistically necessary) element that many students remark is lacking from this competition is adequate feedback -- both from the micro perspective "What do the judges really think of my team's paper?" to the macro "How did other teams answer this question?" This contest was designed in response to the aforementioned student concerns and has been developed to meet the following objectives:
- Encourage independent thinking.
- Promote collaboration.
- Develop mathematical communication abilities.
- Prepare student teams to participate in the MCM.
- Create a unique mathematical community.
Interested in Competing?
More information about the WMMC can be found by reading the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and the schedule. A WMMC informational flyer is available here. If you have additional questions or comments, or if you are interested in being a part of future contests, please contact me.