Math Team Ranks Within Top Seven Percent in Worldwide Competition

Sabrina Crooks, Terry Cox, Shirley Davidson
Friday, April 26, 2019

HELENA – The Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) recently announced the results of the annual Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) & Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM), held in January 2019. Three of the five Carroll College teams competing in the competition placed, at a minimum, in the top twenty-three percent of all participants.

The MCM/ICM is a unique international contest for undergraduate students. It challenges teams of students to clarify, analyze, and propose solutions to open-ended real-world problems. Students participate as team members rather than as individuals, creating an environment for sharing knowledge and skills. Student teams are given 96 hours to analyze a single open-ended problem, develop a model of the problem, solve the model, and write a report.

This year, 15 Carroll students volunteered to compete in five teams of three students. In the contest, each team selected one of six open-ended real-world problems. This year’s problems involved (A) considering the ecological impact of dragons, (B) deploying unmanned aerial vehicles to supplement relief medical supply chains in Puerto Rico, (C) analyzing and combating opioid abuse in the U.S., (D) planning for emergency evacuation of the Louvre museum, (E) understanding the costs and benefits of land use projects from an ecological services perspective, (F) evaluating the viability of a global decentralized digital currency. This year, 25,370 teams from colleges and universities across the globe competed in the MCM/ICM.

One of Carroll’s teams was ranked as “Meritorious Winners,” placing them in the top 7% of all teams. Two teams were ranked as “Honorable Mention,” placing them in top 23% of teams, and two teams were ranked as “Successful Participant.”

  • MCM Problem A, Honorable Mention:  Chase Engle, Daniel Guthrie, Ethan Viles
  • MCM Problem A, Successful Participant:  Ryan Cain, Joyce Lui, Morgan Shimkus
  • ICM Problem B, Successful Participant:  Kristen Bressler, Reina Ishibashi, Theresa Trinh
  • ICM Problem C, Honorable Mention:  Madeline Norton, Matthew Smillie, Austin Wassenberg
  • ICM Problem D, Meritorious Winner:  Terry Cox, Sabrina Crooks, Shirley Davidson

The Meritorious winning team of Terry Cox, senior, math and data science major from Spokane, WA, Sabrina Crooks, sophomore, biology major and math minor from Nine Mile Falls, WA, and Shirley Davidson, sophomore, math, computer science and data science major from Escondido, CA selected to plan for an emergency evacuation of the Louvre Museum after six hours of deliberation. Using creative problem solving and various data and research they were able to locate online, the team pared down their evacuation timing from 43 minutes in their first analysis to 20 minutes by their third. They also used every bit of their 96-hour time limit, turning in their 20-page analysis just ten minutes before deadline.

Carroll teams have placed in the top 1% in the MCM/ICM in 2003, 2006 and 2010. Learn more about the competition.