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!