Three teams from Duke recently received top prizes in national math contests. The contests, sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications, challenge students to propose a solution to a real-world problem using equations and reasoned argument.
Two Duke teams were among the four teams receiving the top "outstanding" designation in the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling; 224 teams participated. Each of the Duke teams developed a model for how the United Nations should allocate resources for fighting /HIV/AIDS. On one team were Arnav Mehta, Qianwei Li and Aaron Wise; Tyler Huffman, Barry Wright III and Charles Staats III were on the other.
In the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, a Duke team was among 10 "outstanding" teams out of 748 participating. The team -- Matt Fischer, Brandon Levin and Nikifor Bliznashki -- described the best way to position and move sprinklers to irrigate a farmer's field.
In a separate competition, the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, a Duke team finished third behind Harvard and Princeton. The students on the team were Bliznashki, Lingren Zhang and Jason Ferguson.