Math modeling is taught by Mrs. Burns, who is new to MAMS. Math modeling involves a lot of group work and project-based learning. We do not learn a single concept, but rather learn to recognize patterns in math and jump around from idea to idea.
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This assignment was a presentation of our various answers to the Epsilon School Problem. The Epsilon School added a new wing that would allow them to increase their student capacity from 490 to 630 students. To accommodate for the increase in students, the school has decided that they can hire seven more teachers and distribute them in the most needed areas. The distribution of teachers before the student increase as well as data of how many students were taking each class before the wing was added were given. Our group came up with multiple methods of how the need for teachers can be calculated using a ratio-based “stress factor” and z-scores.
Every year, students at MAMS compete in HiMCM or the Highschool Mathematical Contest In Modeling. HiMCM is a 36 hour long math modeling competition. We are given two problems to choose from with multiple parts and have to write a formal write-up of our solutions, methods, and any research done. Because this competition spans multiple days, many students work until late in the night, go out for dinner together, rent hotels, or sleep at each other's houses. While it may seem stressful, this competition was incredibly fun and a great way to bond with your classmates and work on your problem solving skills. Everyone has their strengths and having people in your group with different abilities like coding, writing experience, and varying math experience helps you come up with multiple approaches to solving the problem.
This year we selected the “bee problem” that is attached above. Our group had to model the population of a western honey bee hive under different conditions such as a virus being introduced to the colony and a large predator attack. The second part required us to determine how many beehives would be needed for a certain sized plot of land. We utilized lots of algebraic expressions, Java, and plenty of microsoft excel graphs.