CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Of the 3,697 teams that participated in the 28th annual international Mathematical Contest in Modeling this February, only 9 percent came from colleges and universities in the United States. They represented schools a person might expect to see in such a contest, such as MIT and Virginia Tech.
But when the results of the competition were announced recently, an unexpected name appeared on the list of “Honorable Mention” recipients – Austin Peay State University.
The APSU Mathematical Modeling team, made up of students James York-Winegar, Mason Yost and Michael Walker, was honored with the distinction because of the solution the team submitted online to the contest’s complex modeling problem. Dr. Ramanjit Sahi, associate professor of mathematics at APSU, served as the sponsor and coach for the students.
The competition, which is open to teams of up to three undergraduate or high school students, is hosted every year by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications, an award-winning non-profit organization whose mission is to improve mathematics education for students of all ages. Since 1980, COMAP has worked with teachers, students and business people to create learning environments where mathematics is used to investigate and model real issues in our world.
The problem the APSU team worked on for this year’s contest sounded deceptively simple at first. It asked, “How many more boat trips could be added to the Big Long River’s rafting season?” The team was given a plethora of information, such as the length of the river, how fast different rafts travel and how much contact park officials want boaters to have with each other.
The answer calculated by the APSU students led to them being recognized among teams from the most distinguished academic institutions in the world. For more information on the team, contact Dr. Sahi at firstname.lastname@example.org.