Roanoke College

Roanoke team wins Finalist Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling

  • Roanoke team wins Finalist Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling

  • 05/03/11

    Salem, Va. -- Roanoke College students Bonnie Gumpman '11, of Lynchburg, Michael Kluge '11, of Roanoke, and Ed Hrinya '12, of Salem, recently received a Finalist award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling for their work in designing a half-pipe snowboarding course. Only eight teams in the international contest were rated higher. The contest was run by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Application in conjunction with the Mathematical Association of America, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and others. It took place on Thursday, February 10 through Monday, February 14. 

    In the contest, teams of three constructed a solution to one of two open-ended problems throughout a weekend at their home site. The teams were allowed to use any inanimate object as a source but could only discuss possible solutions with each other.  Out of 2,775 teams participating in the contest, eight teams were designated as Outstanding Winners and the next category of Finalist had 23 teams. Among the universities with multiple teams competing were Harvard, Cornell, Duke, Davidson and several ODAC schools.

     The team of Gumpman, Kluge and Hrinya was one of the top eight teams from the United States, with only four United States teams in each of the Outstanding Winner category and the Finalist category. Gumpman, Kluge and Hrinya chose to work to work on a snowboarding course problem. This problem asked for new designs with an analysis of maximum height and speed achieved, balancing exciting runs for spectators with safety for participants. The Roanoke team's design included a series of staggered sections with each section strategically modified to increase speed by nearly 20 percent.

    A second group from the college competed in the contest. The team of Matt Carr '11, of Salem, Jared Meadows '12, of Waynesboro, and Sean Reed ' 13, of Chantilly, received a Successful Participant designation, which about half of the participating teams received.

    Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as one of the "Best 376 Colleges" in its 2012 guidebook, which includes the top nine percent of colleges, and U.S. News & World Report ranks Roanoke the number seven "Up-and-coming National Liberal Arts College."



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