Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Southwestern Team designated “Outstanding Winner” in the COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling and receives the SIAM award

Two Southwestern teams competed in an international mathematical modeling contest in February 2009. One team is 1 of 9 out of 1675 teams designated “Outstanding Winner” and receives the prestigious SIAM award.

We congratulate two student teams that competed in the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) Mathematical Contest in Modeling ( This was the first time that both teams competed in this international contest, which included 1675 teams from 14 countries, including Australia, China, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa. The students worked on a single problem for four days, Feb. 5-9, in a grueling marathon of pizza-fueled problem solving.

The official contest results can be found here: .

The Southwestern team consisting of Michael Party, and Jennifer Pitzen, and Sean Watson, constructed a mathematical model for problem A, which involved designing a traffic circle which best controlled traffic flow. They were awarded a designation of “Successful Participant”.

The Southwestern team consisting of Stephen Foster, Bobby Potter, and Tommy Rogers constructed a mathematical model for problem B, which involved understanding the consequences of the cell phone revolution on energy use. Their team was named an “Outstanding Winner” for their solution, one of only 9 teams in the field of 1675 entries to receive this top honor. Their solution, including comments from the authors about their strategies, will be published along with the other 10 top winners in the UMAP journal. In addition, they won the prestigious SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) award for their solution to problem B ( They will each receive a cash award of $300, a one-year student membership in SIAM, and up to $500 in travel expenses to attend the annual SIAM meeting in Denver, Colorado this July. The other SIAM award winner was a team from Harvard University for their solution to problem A.