Nicole Plotnik


Mathematical modeling, a course taught by Ms. Burns, includes modeling real word situations with math. Using the math skills we learn throughout the year, we create efficient models and solutions for a plethora of different situations. Additionally, we collaborate with each other and share our ideas in order to gain different perspectives on the problem.


HiMCM (The High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling) is a 48 consecutive hour math modeling competition. Working in groups of three and four, we collaborated to solve an open-ended modeling question of our choice. I worked with Charles, Ashwina, and David to model the population of a beehive over the course of a year. We chose this problem because we thought it would be interesting to learn about the life cycle of bees and how bees in a hive cooperate in order to survive. In order to model the beehive population, we decided to account for multiple factors that could affect bee population including birth rate, death rate, disease rate, and predator vs. prey. Using these different factors, we were able to create a function that models beehive population over the course of a year and all four seasons. Overall, although challenging, I think this was a really fun experience and I enjoyed getting to collaborate and work together with my friends. Click here to learn more about HiMCM.

Epsilon School Problem

The Epsilon School problem was a math modeling question where we needed to allocate seven new teachers to different departments in the school due to the influx of incoming students. Using information given about current students, incoming students, and class sizes, we had to decide which departments needed additional teachers and how many additional teachers they needed. For this problem, I worked with Naga, Thomas, and Arnav and our main goal for our solution was to ensure that the student to teacher ratio for each teacher would be about equal.