ENCINITAS — A total of five teams consisting of 18 students from The Grauer School, an independent school in Encinitas, competed in the 26th Annual Mathematical Contest in Modeling late last year from Nov. 1 to 14.
During the competition, students worked in teams of up to four to solve a problem of real-world mathematical significance. This is the sixth year that The Grauer School has fielded teams for this contest, and the teams have won meritorious recognition in previous years.
“All of the teams put in many hours working on their models throughout the contest, and they submitted papers to the judges for their consideration,” said Head of School Dana Abplanalp-Diggs. “We commend them for their efforts.”
One high school team with seniors Carson Bauer, Kendall Bristol and Nicholas Hong along with sophomore Mycah Afra created a model for the growth of dandelions in a plot of land. Through this, they developed an “index factor” that calculates how potentially invasive a certain species is based on its characteristics including rate of reproduction and adaptability to different environments.
Two other teams developed a model for the economic and ecological impacts of replacing a city’s bus fleet with electric buses. Senior Cooper Branch and juniors Milan Bregman, Brandon Diep and Anthony Bazalaki were on the first team, and junior Erin Weir, sophomore Alana Millikan and freshmen Lucy Bachrack and Isabella Monacelli were on the second team.
Two middle school teams created a schedule for the 2024 Olympics. Specifically, they determined how many Olympic medals they would need in each location throughout the tournament and a schedule for the medal ceremonies. Eighth graders Lucca Capovilla, Ciaran Hoffman and Conor Trautman were on one team, and fellow eighth graders William Garner, Chase Millikan and Oori Levenbroun were on the second team.
“I am thrilled by the enthusiasm and dedication the teams put into working through their problems this year. This contest is not just about math: it tests their writing and communication skills, their ability to parse data gathered from the internet and separate ‘good’ data from ‘bad’ data, and other skills like teamwork and time management that are essential for 21st-century jobs,” said Peter Mannisto, teacher and math modeling mentor at The Grauer School. “This contest is unique in that it gives students a true experience in what it would be like to apply mathematics in a real-world setting.”
Judging for this competition takes several weeks, so the final results from the judges, including choosing the outstanding, meritorious and honorable mention papers, are not expected until late January.