It’s that time of year again! Five dedicated Lawrence Technological University (LTU) students participated in this year’s Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM). The 96-hour math marathon took place from Jan. 31-Feb. 4 on campuses all over the world. Professor Emerita Ruth Favro was the principal faculty advisor for this competition at LTU.
The LTU students were divided into two teams. They could choose between two math problems to solve, and both teams chose Problem A – modeling the heat flow in a convection oven in order to efficiently bake the maximum number of brownies and designing the best pan for doing so.
Both teams’ weekend was filled with intense research that involved math, computer science, physics, chemistry, and engineering in order to reach the end result of a well-written research paper. The teams also had to create an ad for their brownie pans.
Favro said, “Some elegant math and physics went into their papers.”
While Eric Beyer, Bob Gandolfo, and Brandon Lentz took over S115 for that long weekend, Daniel (Orlando) Anderegg and David Inwald set up camp in the Science Building lobby. Plenty of food was provided in S115 for both teams, including Favro’s homemade brownies. The students’ majors in this interdisciplinary group range through mathematics, computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.
The two LTU teams competed against 3,500 teams around the world. Last year, three fourths of the papers submitted were from China.
Favro said, “The key to rising to higher levels in the judging of the research paper is good writing and editing, with clear organization throughout, from executive summary on page 1 to the conclusion at the end.”
The LTU Math Club and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science sponsored the contest. Extra help was given by Assistant Professor Guang-Chong Zhu and Associate Professor Chris Cartwright. Many thanks go to everyone who helped coordinate this production, including the College of Arts and Sciences dean’s office, New York Bagel for bagel donation, and LTU Security for weekend help with rooms.
The results will be announced at the end of April.