Math Club prepares for annual world-wide competition

by Matthew Marquez, Staff Reporter

The Simpson College math club competed in its annual International Mathematical Contest and Modeling/Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling competition online this past Thursday through Monday. 

The ICM and MCM is a great way for students from all across the nation and even internationally to address real-world challenges and give solutions to their selected challenges. Many skills are at hand during the competition. Participants must work in a team setting to solve the challenge, all while writing persuasively about mathematics. 

The contest is open to all willing participants, not just those in the mathematical majors. Teams consisted of three participants where participants could register together or can be randomly grouped. 

After the competition, teams are sectioned as Outstanding (top 2-3%), Meritorious (next 10-15%), Honorable Mention (next 30-35%), and Successful Participant. Prizes range from scholarships to cash. 

Thursday, at the start of the competition, teams were given six problems to choose from, ranging from all aspects of life: networking, data science, environmental science, knowledge, policies, and continuous and discrete math.    

Junior Jade Thompson, the math club president, and his team of two others included junior Tim Hornback and freshman Coby Bouchard.

“I know, some good team in the past have been from all different types of backgrounds, you’ll have an accounting major, math major, and a bio or chem major because they all have experiences that bring their perspectives on to solve the problem,” said Thompson when asked what makes a successful team.  

Thompson is studying to be a math major on campus, Hornback has a background in math and computer science, and Bouchard with an intended major of actuarial science. 

The team of three had chosen the challenge of figuring out how music artists influence other artists as well as how they influence the genre they are in. 

“We were given a considerable set of data to work with, to find trends in the similarity between artists and how influencers affected the music of their followers,” said Hornback.

Data Analysis was a significant part of this challenge for the group, said Hornback, “I did a lot of coding, and Python and Jade did a lot of work with programming in R (a software for statistical computing), and I think between the two of those if we did not have that ability that knowledge of Python and R, I don’t think we would have been able to get as far as we got.” 

With a deadline of Monday, February 8th, after working on it throughout the weekend, the team submitted their final solution to the challenge with a thirteen-page response. 

This semester’s next big event for the math club is on March 14, or National Pi Day, where the club will be selling pies and having Pi trivia games. For more information on the math club and events to come, please contact club president Jade Thompson at [email protected]