Popular Math Challenge Expands to England and Wales

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) has announced that its MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge will expand from the U.S. to include students from England and Wales. Starting in 2021, hundreds of sixth form students are expected to join U.S. high school junior and senior students in competing for more than £79,000 in scholarship prizes. A total of 37 monetary prizes are up for grabs.

Registration for the free, online M3 Challenge 2021 competition is now open until February 19, 2021 at 4 p.m. ET. The competition will take place February 26 to March 1, 2021. For more information and to register, visit http://m3challenge.siam.org.

Marking its 16th year, M3 Challenge spotlights applied mathematics and technical computing as powerful problem-solving tools and viable, exciting professions. Participants work in small teams, committing 14 consecutive hours on a designated weekend in February/March to devise a solution to a real-world problem using mathematical modeling. Of the hundreds of participating teams, nine winning teams are selected as finalists.

Submissions are judged by an international panel of 150 largely Ph.D.-level mathematicians. The competition final presentation event and awards ceremony is traditionally held in New York City in late April – an all-expense paid experience for the finalist teams.Math Challenge

According to Michelle Montgomery, M3 Challenge program director at SIAM, what sets M3 Challenge apart from other math competitions is that it uniquely requires students to use math modeling to represent, analyze, make predictions and provide insight into current world issues. 

“For 2021, the competition will be taken up a notch, with students now having the opportunity to participate in an international competition and compete on the world stage, resulting in added prestige for the winning teams,” Montgomery said.

Past competition topics have had students address issues such as the transition of trucking from diesel to electric, substance abuse, food insecurity and car sharing.

“SIAM and MathWorks share a common goal of encouraging students to explore STEM careers by demonstrating the relevance of math, engineering and science outside the classroom,” said Lauren Tabolinsky, academic program manager at MathWorks. “We are pleased to continue supporting M3 Challenge as it expands its scope by helping younger audiences consider STEM careers by applying their skills to relevant and achievable contest goals.”

In addition to its title sponsorship, MathWorks offers participants a range of free resources, training materials and software licenses to help them prepare for the challenge – including its flagship products MATLAB and Simulink that are widely used across academia and commercial industries around the world.
“Every year without fail, we hear from participating students who refer to their participation in M3 Challenge as a transformative experience that helped open their eyes to how important, useful and valuable the application of mathematics can be,” Montgomery said.