Carmel High School team runners up in Moody’s Mega Math Challenge

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Moody’s Foundation President Fran Laserson, center, presents a $15,000 college scholarship to runners up, from left, Simon Langowski, Joseph Philleo, Miles Dai and Tiger Huang of Carmel High School along with coach Peter Beck. (Submitted photo)

Moody’s Foundation President Fran Laserson, center, presents a $15,000 college scholarship to runners up, from left, Simon Langowski, Joseph Philleo, Miles Dai and Tiger Huang of Carmel High School along with coach Peter Beck. (Submitted photo)

By Amanda Foust

Out of more than 5,000 student participants, a team of four from Carmel High School became one of six finalists sent to Moody’s Mega Math Challenge Finals in Manhattan April 25.

The challenge exists to promote the use of mathematics as a powerful problem-solving tool.

Carmel High School seniors Joe Philleo, Miles Dai, Tiger Huang and Simon Langowski were on the team competing in the event.

“I saw a sign that said, ‘You can earn scholarships.’ It seemed neat, so (my friends and I) assembled a small team,” Philleo said.

All juniors and seniors in high school were eligible to participate in the challenge, which offered more than $150,000 in scholarship opportunities, but no more than two teams were allowed per school. The initial contest was online at the end of February and challenged students to answer a mathematical question that relates to a real-life situation. They were given 14 hours to develop their findings and final presentation.

CHS math teacher and coach Peter Beck supported the team.

“My role was administrative more than anything else,” Beck said. “I believe the team should be student generated instead of teacher generated.”

The challenge for this year was to look into car-sharing models and see which ones would most likely be adopted by various cities throughout the U.S.

“We found several people who bought a car and shared was the cheapest option,” Philleo said.

For the challenge, the students researched and later presented an explanation of their approach and research findings.

“The students are able to apply mathematics in a field that’s still being developed, some of their ideas will go national, and some of their findings will make an impact,” Beck said.

Carmel’s M3 team placed second, winning $15,000 in scholarship money to split between the four students.

“The judges were very complimentary of their work and analysis,” Beck said.

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