Rensselear students performed extremely well in the 2017 Mathematical and Interdisciplinary Contests in Modeling (MCM/ICM).  Professor Pete Kramer organizes the students and mentors for this activity and is pleased to report the following acheivments:

  • In their first year competing, the team of Taylor Parrish (math/physics junior), Peter Craig (physics junior), and William Joe Meese (math/physics junior) achieved finalist status (top 16 out of 3664 international teams competing) on a network science problem, namely to optimize passenger movement through airport security.  The team utilized a combination of a nonlinear traffic flow model and a discrete simulation approach which takes into account variations in behaviors and characteristics of the passengers. 

This is the fourth time since 2013 that a different Rensselaer team has achieved finalist or outstanding designation (roughly top 1%) for their solution of a network science problem in this competition.  What makes this year's accomplishment remarkable is the number of  teams competing on this problem has quadrupled since the previous year. 

  • Another first-time team, Zhenhan Huang (math senior), Juicheng Ren (chem eng senior), and Huajun Li (CS/CSE sophomore) earned a meritorious distinction (top 10%) on the same network problem.
  • The team of Alex Norman (math/physics junior), Madison Wyatt (math/physics junior), and James Flamino (physics senior), which won two top prizes and a scholarship for their paper on the network science problem in 2016, scored a meritorious distinction (top 10% of 3621 teams) for their approach to a modeling problem regarding urban planning.

Honorable mentions were awarded to the following two teams:

  • Matt Poegel, Andrew Batbouta and Anthony Ferritto on a data science problem concerning self-driving vehicles.
  • Raymond Wu, Kyle Rego and Tyler Pelaez on a problem to model and optimize traffic flow through toll gates.

Congratulations to the members of these teams for this year's amazing performance!  And a special thanks as well to the math postdocs coaches, Michael Jenkinson, and Joe Klobusicky, as well as continuing support for the contest training by the mathematical sciences department and a National Science Foundation research training grant.