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First Annual High School Mathematical Modeling Contest

The first annual national High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM) was conducted at several locations throughout the country during the 22-26th of February 1999. Building on the successful design of the college-level Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM), which this year saw over 478 teams from nine countries participating this year, 29 schools participated in this inaugural event. The contest is sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) under a grant from The National Science Foundation (NSF), and was supported by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), The Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

Each participating school could enter a team of up to four students. The individual teams had to choose a single continuous 24 hour period during the contest week in which to model and solve a very simply-posed, but deceptively challenging problem. Students were to develop a mathematical model for timing traffic lights on a major thoroughfare so that a smooth flow of traffic can be maintained while simultaneously enabling drivers to enter the flow of traffic from connected side streets.

Final contest judging was held 26-28 March 1999. The teams producing "outstanding papers" as determined by the judges were:

Westminster School, Atlanta, GA; Advisor: Landy Godbold
Team Members: Jana Dopson, Michael Miller, Jordan Thomas, and Conor Tochilin

Chesterfield County Math & Science High School, Midlothian, VA; Advisor: Diane Leigthy
Team Members: Nicolas Creehan, Michael Bennett, Justin Morgan, and Beth Reid

Francis W. Parker School, Devens, MA; Advisor: John Stadler
Team Members: Oren Cass, Ani Ravi, Jon Tang, and Sean Ting

Illinois Math and Science Academy, Aurora, IL; Advisor: Ronald Vavrinek
Team Members: Kevin Costello, Andrew Price, Keith Winstein, and Terry Koo

Additionally, each of the schools was awarded the INFORMS Award for outstanding use of mathematical modeling in solving real world problems. All the schools were commended for the effort. Each of the twenty-nine schools was a true winner.