Every year, in the first week of November, MAMS juniors partake in a
math competition known as HiMCM. In HimCM, teams are given around
36-48 hours to answer an open-ended math question.
We were allowed to form our own teams of 3-4 people, but aside from our group members, we weren't allowed any help from external people (like our math teacher, other students, or even YouTube). I worked with Charles, Nicole, and David for this competition. There are usually two questions offered each year and students must pick one and write a paper in response. The paper had a hard limit of 25 pages, including our table of content and references.
While preparing for HiMCM, we were encouraged to "approach the problem in unique ways", as the problems could be interpreted in many ways. The problems are usually very open-ended with a couple parts. You can find the problem my group answered right here!
In addition to the competitions and the problem sets we are
assigned, we also complete math modeling problems like the elevator
problem or the Epsilon school problem. One of the things I really
enjoy about the math modeling problem is their open-ended nature.
The problems that we are often asked to model are usually real
issues that occur in the world, which also means that the solutions
are diverse and more complex than a simple equation!
For this particular problem, I worked with Shivani, Venkat, and McKenna to help devise a solution to an overcrowded school. We ultimately used concepts from statistics to create our solution, but while we were brainstorming, we had ideas from all sorts of fields of mathematics. We even considered a solution that used hyperbolic tangents!