Results of the 2021 Mathematical and Interdisciplinary Contests in Modeling (MCM/ICM) have been posted, and two teams from Rensselaer have received the MAA (Mathematical Association of America) Award for their papers!   The MAA selects at most one team for each contest problem option for their award.  The winning Rensselaer teams are:

  • Problem A: Modeling how fungal traits affect decomposition of plant material.  Winning team: Calvin Ang (Math), Daniel Bujno (Math) and Kunyuan Liu (Math)
  • Problem E: Designing a more equitable and sustainable food system.  Winning team: Aaron Kleger (Physics), Maxwell Rothman (Physics/Math) and Jake Watts (Math/Physics/Econ)

The winning Rensselaer teams were selected from approximately 4000 entries for each problem.  Moreover, the following team achieved meritorious distinction (top 10%) on Problem A: Nigel DaSilva (Physics), Gretchen Forbush (CS/Math) and Scott Schwartz (Physics).  This is the first time that (1) a team from Rensselaer has won the MAA award and (2) two teams from Rensselaer were selected in the same year for the top contest awards!  A few teams from Rensselaer have won similarly selective awards (SIAM, Leonhard Euler) in previous years, most recently in 2016, but the level of competition has been growing every year making it ever more challenging to produce a standout paper!

Congratulations to our students for this unprecedented success in this contest.  The department acknowledges the work of our faculty coach Professor Peter Kramer and our graduate student coach Jesica Bauer for their role in preparing the teams.

Support for the contest training was provided by the National Science Foundation through the department's Research Training Grant.