Bucknell University Team Named Meritorious Winners at International Math Contest

The Bucknell team of Aiqiu Wang ’19, Haipu Sun ’19 and Haoyu Xiong ’19 were named meritorious winners at the 2017 Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM), a distinction reached by only the top 7 percent of the nearly 9,000 participating teams from around the world.

MCM is a four-day competition that was held this year from January 19 to 23. The contest asked teams to solve one of three problems: A, B or C. The Bucknell team chose B, a problem that, as described by the contest organizers, “revisited an issue that time, technology and engineering have yet to resolve to satisfaction — diffusion and convergence of multilane traffic on two sides of a highway toll collection facility. However, rather than posing a situation in which performance assessment of a particular configuration was sought, problem B instead asked teams to consider if there existed some yet unidentified design that offered improved performance in comparison to existing designs.”

Of the 4,907 teams who submitted solutions to problem B, five were selected as outstanding winners, eight were selected as finalists, and 301 were selected as meritorious winners. Only nine U.S. teams, including Bucknell, placed in one of these top three categories.

“Success in the MCM competition requires bringing together strong solutions, teamwork and the ability to communicate one’s ideas effectively,” said Professor Linda Smolka, mathematics, the team’s adviser. “Aiqiu, Haipu and Haoyu should be congratulated for their hard work, perseverance and distinguished results. It is particularly notable that Aiqiu, Haipu and Haoyu are sophomores and that this was their first time competing in the MCM competition.”

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