Students win worldwide contest in mathematical modeling

UB Undergraduate Students, Andrew Harris, Dante Iozzo, and Nigel Michki.

UB Undergraduate Students (from left) Andrew Harris, Dante Iozzo, and Nigel Michki

Competing in a field of 7,600 entries, UB's team became one of ten Outstanding Winners in the 2015 Mathematical Contest in Modeling. The worldwide competition is run by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications.

The students are Andrew Harris, an aerospace engineering major with a minor in English, from Washingtonville, NY, Dante Iozzo, a mathematics and physics major from Lewiston, and Nigel Michki, a computational physics major from Grand Island. Their faculty advisor for the contest is John Ringland.

The grueling contest spans 96 hours from announcement of the problems on Thursday evening, through the submission deadline on the following Monday evening. Teams choose one problem from two that are posted. They research it, devise a model, create and run computer simulations, and write up their results.

The problem that Harris, Iozzo and Michki chose to answer was on eradicating Ebola virus disease. The students' paper also garnered an award from the Mathematical Association of America. In July, the team travels to the association's national meeting in Washington DC to present the paper.

“This is a remarkable achievement. The students appreciate the recognition, but they also enjoyed the process,” says John Ringland, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences, and the team’s faculty adviser.

“Historically, our competitors in the MCM have been math majors. However, we in the math department strongly promote interdisciplinary activities and we recognize that an interdisciplinary team naturally brings together the broad array of knowledge, skills and perspectives that is necessary to achieve excellence in a contest like the MCM. We are delighted that our first interdisciplinary MCM team has had this great success.”

~Read the full article on UB NEWS.


More about COMAP

COMAP, the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications, 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 our world.

COMAP develops curriculum materials and teacher development programs that are multidisciplinary, academically rigorous, and fun for teachers to teach and students to learn. COMAP's educational philosophy is centered around mathematical modeling: using mathematical tools to explore real-world problems. Our products are developed in print, video, and multi-media formats.

COMAP conducts research and analysis on the preparation of future mathematics educators and issues the results in newsletters and reports.

COMAP provides technical assistance and professional development support to educators at all levels.