By John Allison, VHS math teacher
Three juniors from Vilonia High School, Marianna Ghazaryan, Madison Loter and Mary Beth McKay, competed in the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge that was held at the high school Feb. 27.
The challenge is sponsored by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Teams download the problem on the challenge weekend, and are allowed up to 14 hours to submit their final solution paper. Teams comprised of three to five students are monitored by a coach and allowed to use any inanimate resource for reference during the competition. However, the coach may not assist them with the solution. They are not allowed to access any live online tutors, chat rooms, or seek help on social media. Their solution must be their own.
Ghazaryan, Loter and McKay arrived at school at 9 a.m. on that Saturday and worked for 14 hours, submitting their final paper only minutes before their 11 p.m. deadline. Tasked with creating a mathematical model to help car sharing companies evaluate the potential for profit in cities across the country, their final solution paper was 15 pages long.
One of only 78 teams to receive an honorable mention award, out of the 1,084 that submitted viable solution papers, these students will also split $1,000 in scholarship money as part of their prize.
Congratulations to these three young women. They did a wonderful job representing Vilonia in this national competition.