Mathematics Students Earn High Honors in International Competitions

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Glassboro?Two Rowan University Mathematics teams received high honors at two different international mathematics competitions this year.

Three students ? sophomores Scott Papson of Freehold, Stace

Glassboro?Two Rowan University Mathematics teams received high honors at two different international mathematics competitions this year.

Three students ? sophomores Scott Papson of Freehold, Stacey Bush of Westville and Rosie Tortorice of Deptford ? earned meritorious honors in the 17th Annual Mathematical Contest of Modeling (MCM) sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP). Only 14 percent of entries received meritorious honors, the second highest honor given, and only 2 percent of entries received outstanding honors, the highest honor given.

The other honors given are honorable mention (third place) and successful participation (fourth place).

The Rowan team competed against 496 other teams, representing 238 institutions from 11 countries. The students were assigned the project <+>Escaping a Hurricane?s Wrath,<+> which addressed the evacuation of Charleston, South Carolina during 1999?s Hurricane Floyd, at 12:01 p.m. on a Friday. They had until Monday at 5 p.m. to plan an alternate plan of evacuation. The problem was based on a real life situation where it took many hours to evacuate a beach town. The idea was to create a better plan that would reduce evacuation time.

The Mathematics Department at Rowan is especially proud of the meritorious award since this is only the second time Rowan sent a team to this competition. In addition, this is the first time Papson, Bush and Tortorice participated.

Rowan University also sent a team of three students from both the mathematics and engineering departments to the 3rd Annual Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM), also sponsored by the COMAP. Junior Jennifer Akers of Newtonville and seniors Claire Bracher of Downington, Pa., and Adam Hilburn of Hatboro, Pa., earned successful participation or fourth honors in the competition.

The ICM team was assigned the project <+>Our Waterways ? An Uncertain Future.<+> The teams were required to analyze reference data in regards to preventing the spread of the Zebra mussels, small, fingernail-sized freshwater mollusks that were unintentionally introduced to North America via ballast water from a transoceanic vessel in the mid 1980s. The mussels have spread through all of the Great Lakes and a number of inland waterways in the United States and Canada, significantly impacting the Great Lakes ecosystem and economy. Many communities are trying to control or eliminate these aquatic pests.

The Rowan team competed against 83 teams representing 58 institutions from five different countries. This is the first year Rowan entered the ICM contest.

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