Three Austin College students received the highest possible team rating at a mathematical modeling competition at Texas A&M University–Commerce on November 10. Presenting at SCUDEM IV 2019 (SIMIODE Challenge using Differential Equations), the Austin College team was one of only two to receive the Outstanding rating at the event.
The Austin College team, including Nick Frederick ’20 of Pantego, Texas; Elisha Lisson ’20 of San Angelo, Texas; and Natalie Randall ’20 of West Palm Beach, Florida, competed against eight other teams in math modeling. The Austin College team also won first place in the Math Bowl portion of the event. Challenge Saturday saw similar competitions in several U.S. sites as well as international locations.
Students used the power of mathematics to address the following challenges: chemical signals from wasps and butterflies, which relate to reproduction and egg deposits; the phenomenon of hipsters in how people tend to group themselves; and the movement of objects on small microgravity environments such as asteroids.
Dr. Catie Patterson, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, accompanied the team to the competition, which included a faculty development program.
The event was sponsored by SIMIODE – Systemic Initiative for Modeling investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations, a nonprofit organization, funded in part in the United States by the National Science Foundation.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 50 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. This year, the campus recognizes 100 years of co-education and has had several opportunities to recognize the history of women and accomplishments of current alumnae. Austin College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.