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Team Takes Top Honors in Math Contest

CC Wins Awards 3 Consecutive Years

In the international Mathematical Modeling Contest of 2015, a team of three CC students, Eleanore Campbell '16, Melissa Jay '16, and Nathan Mankovich '17, wrote one of only 10 Outstanding Winning Papers. Their paper, titled "Search for a lost plane: A Probabilistic, Neighborhood-Based Model for Locating Transoceanic Flights" was selected from a total of 7,636 solution papers submitted by teams from 17 countries.

This year, the students chose between two current problems that have mathematical applications: searching for a lost airplane or eradicating Ebola. Campbell, Jay, and Mankovich developed a search algorithm for a lost airplane feared to have crashed in open water on a transoceanic flight. They had to assume that there were no signals from the crashed plane and take into account the many types of airplanes. In addition, they had to write a one-page non-technical paper for the airlines to use in their press conferences.

The two other CC teams, Nelson Ding '18, Alice Xiang '17, and Zhiyao Zhu '17; and Ganesh Karapakula '16, are Successful Participants of the contest and chose to model an Ebola outbreak when an effective vaccine or drug is available. They had to consider the spread of the disease, the quantity of the medicine needed, possible feasible delivery systems, locations of delivery, and the speed of manufacturing of the vaccine or drug. The students did all the modeling, numerical simulations, and writing in only four days.

In 2014, Jay, Karapakula, and Emma Krakoff '16 wrote one of the Finalist Winning papers and two other Colorado College teams received the Meritorious Winning team designation. CC also had an Outstanding Winning team in 2013.

Campbell, Jay, and Mankovich also were the recipients of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) award. INFORMS is the largest society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research, management science, and analytics. INFORMS has long recognized the importance of involving undergraduate students and faculty in an unscripted process of mathematical modeling whose problems contain many of the modern elements seen by its membership.

INFORMS selects and designates a single outstanding team from each of the four problems as an INFORMS outstanding winning team whose modeling and analyses best exemplify the style and content reflected in its membership's professional practice.‚Äč Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Andrea Bruder advised the 2013 and 2015 CC teams, and Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Amelia Taylor advised the 2014 teams.

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