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There were 970 entries from 12 countries collaborating to devise a mathematical approach to a difficult, functional problem.
UMass Lowell’s three-man team, Brian Intoccia, Ryan Hill and Chris Evans, finished in the top ten percent.
Each year in early February, the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP) sponsors the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM). Teams of up to three undergraduate students use any means and sources, other than human help, to solve a math problem, and then report on their solution, if there is one.
They have four days.
Entries are ranked as Outstanding, Meritorious, Honorable Mention or Successful Participant. Prof. James Graham-Eagle of the Department of Mathematical Sciences guided the three undergrads in their efforts to “find an optimal sprinkler setup to water a given field in the minimum time given maximum and minimum values for the amount of water required at each point.” Hill, Evans and Intoccia gave up an early semester weekend to compete, and, given their results, that time was well spent. GrahamEagle of Mathematics congratulated the three. “Much kudos to them for their hard work and enthusiasm,” he says.
For a full statement of the problem and more information on COMAP and MCM, go to www.comap.com/undergraduate/contests/mcm/contests/2006/problems.