Augustana Team Competes in World Mathematics Contest
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
SIOUX FALLS, SD – Three Augustana students participated in the 2010 Mathematical Contest in Modeling sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP). The contest attracted 2,254 teams representing institutions from 14 countries.
Juniors Thomas Alexander (Belview, MN) and Trent Anderson (Jasper, MN), and senior Peder Thompson (Paynesville, MN) represented Augustana. Alexander is majoring in communication/business and physics, Anderson is majoring in mathematics and chemistry, and Thompson is majoring in mathematics and English.
The Augustana team was among 1,245 teams to earn successful participants recognition. Nine teams were named outstanding winners and included Bucknell University, Princeton University, Tufts University, the United States Military Academy (West Point), and two universities from China.
COMAP is 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 the world.
The 2010 contest was primarily an online competition. During that time, teams of up to three undergraduate or high school students researched, modeled, and submitted a solution to one of two modeling problems.
Problem A was titled The Sweet Spot and noted that every hitter knows there’s a spot on the fat part of a baseball bat where maximum power is transferred to the ball when hit. Why isn’t this spot at the end of the bat?
In Problem B, Criminology, each team was asked to develop a method to aid a police agency in its investigations of serial criminals. Teams were required to generate a useful prediction for law enforcement officers, including some kind of estimate or guidance about possible locations of the next crime based on the time and locations of the past crime scenes.