Math Modeling

Our math modeling class is taught by Mrs. Burns. This course goes beyond the traditional high school math class by not only teaching mathematical concepts, but also having students apply them to open-ended real-world problems. In addition, problem solving skills, collaboration, and logic are emphasized by modeling real world problems using concepts such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics. Below are some examples of my work.

Epsilon School Problem

For our first math modeling problem, we were put into groups and tasked with the Epsilon school problem. In summary, we were given data about student enrollments per department for the Epsilon School of Math and Science. In the problem, the school was enrolling more students, and thus needed to hire more faculty. However, there was a limit to how many new teachers could be hired. Thus, our goal was to model the problem and figure out which departments needed more teachers and which did not. For this project, I worked with Suhruth and Jaylin. Through a lot of messing around in google sheets, we were able to come up with our solution. Below is the presentation, along with the google sheet where all the calculations were performed (be warned, it’s a bit messy).


HiMCM is the High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling. This was a three day long contest in which all school activities were suspended and students formed groups of 3-4 to work on the problem. This wasn’t limited to school, as most groups met outside of school and some even pulled all-nighters to finish the problem. The unique part of HiMCM is that it is a math modeling competition. This means that the problems were open-ended and had a multitude of solutions, depending on how the problem was approached. Two problems were released, and groups could choose which problem to pursue. My group consisted of me, Shuling and Emily, and we chose to tackle the bee problem, which included modeling a bee population through the years. We chose this problem not only because bees are more interesting than temperature changes, but also that the problem seemed more fun. And if we were about to do math for three days straight, the topic better be interesting. On day one, we mostly did research on the internet, looking for information about factors that might affect bee populations. On day two, we focused on our calculations, trying to model the population with all the factors impacting the bees. This was all done in Google Sheets. On the final day, we finished our calculations and wrote up our solution. This contest was very difficult and frustrating. However, our group pulled through. Below, you can find the problem, our solution, brainstorming, and calculations.