Every fall, students in Godwin’s Todd Allen Phillips Center for Medical Sciences have the opportunity to participate in the international High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM).
The Math Modeling Competition, as it is often shortened to, is a strenuous 36-hour competition in which students are divided into groups of four and select one of two given problems to solve.
After deciding on a problem, each group must fully respond to the question within the 36-hour period by providing a 30-page paper and mathematical model as the solution.
Students who choose to participate in the competition are offered an experience not provided to any other Henrico County high school. However, nearby schools such as Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, Collegiate School, and Clover Hill High School have participated in the past.
Junior Spencer Arcibal participates in Math Modeling to experience what a future in mathematics would resemble.
“This competition provides a stepping stone for a future career in applied mathematics,” said Arcibal.
The competition has six categories which groups can place in. From lowest honor to highest honor, the categories are Successful Participant, Honorable Mention, Meritorious, Finalist, National Finalist, and Outstanding.
Godwin teams have ranged from Successful Participant to Outstanding. Last year, Godwin students were ranked as one of the Outstanding Teams, meaning they were in the top one percent of 719 total teams.
Many center students look forward to this annual academic contest.
Junior Pranav Neyveli said, “I enjoyed taking a math equation and producing an entire paper from it.”
Math Modeling sponsor Miranda Watson believes that this competition is beneficial for students because it gives them an opportunity to practice using math to support practical problems.
“It allows them to see where math is used in the real world,” said Watson.
A number of students, such as sophomore Shreya Murali, take part in Math Modeling because they have an interest in seeing math applied to everyday life.
Murali said, “The competition was a great experience that allowed us to explore the real world applications of math.”
Students participating in the competition were able to practice math skills and collaborate to creatively solve a problem.
In addition to applying math and ingenuity, teams had to work together through effective communication skills and be able to manage the high-stress situation.
Junior Daniel Wu said, “I learned that the best ideas come ten minutes before the due date.”
Junior Matthew Lim learned that the people you work with influence your productivity.
Lim said, “I learned that you have to make the best out of every situation, no matter the situation.”