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Mathematics Team Earns Top Marks in International Competition

A Bethel mathematics team earned a spot in the top ten “Outstanding Winners” in the 2015 Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM). The team received two additional awards: the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) prize, which allows the students to travel to this summer’s MathFest in Washington, D.C. to present their paper, and the Frank R. Giordano Award, awarded to the paper that demonstrates true excellence in the execution of the modeling process.

The team included math and computer science double-major Philip Gibbens '16, math and computer science double-major Tyler Miller '18, and computer science major Ben Visness '17. Associate Professor of Math and Computer Science Nathan Gossett advised the team.

For the MCM portion, students could choose from two scenarios in order to develop a mathematical model to solve a real-life issue. Bethel’s team chose “Problem B.”, which involved creating a model for an airline to use to plan a search for a missing flight, such as Malaysian flight MH370, which disappeared in March 2014. After building the model, the students submitted a detailed technical paper and a non-technical paper that the airline could use in a press conference situation. Teams have 96 hours to develop their model and write the papers once the problems have been posted.

Bethel’s team was one of five that earned “Outstanding Winner” recognition for their work on “Problem B.” This is the fifth time a Bethel team has placed in the Outstanding category since they began participating in the competition in 2001. Two other teams from Bethel earned “Honorable Mentions.” This year’s competition included 7,633 other teams from 17 countries.

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