A team of Evanston Township High School students reached the Outstanding level of recognition in the 2014 COMAP High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling and five teams reached the Meritorious level. The 17th annual contest by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP) offered high school students the opportunity to work on complex, open-ended problems to develop a reasonable solution via a mathematical model.

Known among students as the “36-Hour Problem,” the international contest challenges students, who work in teams of up to four, to take on one of two real-world problems. They use skills and knowledge from math, science and computer science classes to develop possible solutions for problems that have no single, correct answer. The ETHS team sponsors were Glenford Gordon and Mark Vondracek.

Each high school team chose one problem from two modeling challenges and then constructed their solutions:

i. Optimizing the rate of unloading passengers from subway trains and having them exit the station; or 

ii. Developing measures that can best contain the spread of a disease, such as Ebola, in a small village in Indonesia.

The ETHS team recognized as Outstanding presented one of only nine top papers submitted (approximately the top 1%) and will have its solution paper published in one or more of COMAP’s professional mathematics journals: ·ETHS seniors Sean Finn-Samuels, Graham Straus, and Nate Umbanhowar and junior Zane Kashner.

These ETHS teams recognized as Meritorious represented the top 25% of solution papers:

• Seniors Rebecca Conover, Micaela Homer, Rachel Kornbluh and Jordan Rosen-Kaplan

• Seniors Benedict Brady, Emma Chanen, Justin Liao and Henry McDonald

• Seniors Ben Foutty, Kevin Klyman, Mille Rosen and Aly Singleton

• Juniors Christian Landis, Alex and Seth Paternostro and Andrew Simon

• Juniors Alex Brooke, Paul Clarke and Spencer Eanes

“We had 11 other teams of students who earned Honorable Mention and Successful Participant status,” added Vondracek. “This is a total of 17 teams who voluntarily spent most of a weekend back in November doing intense STEM work.”