Mathematics modelling challenge

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

​The world-renowned MathWorks Math Modelling Challenge is being expanded in 2021 to include students from England and Wales.

Run by the US-based Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the M3 Challenge is designed to open students’ eyes to the relevance of maths in everyday life while also boosting their interest in STEM careers.

The free online competition attracts the participation of thousands of high school juniors and seniors across the US – and now sixth form students in England and Wales.

Working in small teams, the students commit 14 consecutive hours on a designated weekend in February/March to devise a solution to a real-world problem using mathematical modelling. Of the hundreds of participating teams, nine winning teams are selected as finalists, with roughly £79,000 in scholarship prizes – a total of 37 monetary prizes – up for grabs.

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.

MathWorks offers participants a range of free resources, training materials and software licences to help them prepare for the challenge.


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