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Homestead High School students advance to finals in an international math competition

Homestead High School M3 Challenge finalist team (from the left): Ethan Wang, Adam Garsha, Jacob Schmidman and Eric Wan.
Posted at 4:05 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 17:05:00-04

MEQUON, Wisc. — Homestead High School students combined brainpower to find out if the global pandemic has led employers to shift to remote work indefinitely.

Students Adam Garsha, Jacob Schmidman, Eric Wan, and Ethan Wang participated in an international online math competition, MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge (M3 Challenge), over a weekend of 14 straight hours in February. More than 2,700 students from the U.S and U.K. participated in the competition.

The Homestead team has since advanced to one of the top six spots and will head to New York City to present their paper, answer questions, and receive awards.

The M3 Challenge Finalist Awards honor the top six teams overall for outstanding mathematical approaches to the three main prompts in the Challenge problem.

The M3 Challenge asked teams to use mathematical modeling to predict what percentage of workers’ jobs are remote-ready and whether an individual worker whose job is remote-ready will be allowed to and will choose to work from home. It also had participants estimate the percentage of workers who will work remotely in the future.

A total of 612 teams submitted reports that detailed their discoveries. Winning teams will be awarded a share of $100,000 in scholarships. The champion team will receive $20,000, the runner up will win $15,000, third place will take home $10,000, and the finalist will get $5,000.

The Homestead team’s coach, Weizhong Wang, believes the M3 Challenge is excellent for students.

“M3 Challenge is truly a great opportunity for our students,” says coach Wang. “Math has always been taught with some applications. But, M3 Challenge offers students eye opening opportunities to work on future cutting-edge technologies and challenges just emerging on the horizon.”

Team member Schmidman has gotten more out of the experience than mathematical concepts.

"M3 Challenge not only allowed me to become closer with my friends, but also helped me discover the real-world applications and benefits of math," he said.

This is the 17th year of the M3 challenge, which hopes to encourage students to consider further education and careers in applied math, computational and data sciences, and technical computing.

For more information about M3 Challenge, visit here.

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