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6521-Malone University students participate in International Mathematical Contest in Modeling

6521-February 1, 2013

Two Malone University students will compete this weekend in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, an international competition to solve a common mathematical problem.

They are Luke Sweet, a junior mathematics major from Madison, Penn.; and Frank McCormick, a senior exercise science major from Medina.

They will select a problem from the following, and must turn in their answers by 8 a.m. Monday, February 4.

How would YOU do?

PROBLEM A: The Ultimate Brownie Pan

When baking in a rectangular pan heat is concentrated in the four corners and the product gets overcooked at the corners (and to a lesser extent at the edges). In a round pan the heat is distributed evenly over the entire outer edge and the product is not overcooked at the edges. However, since most ovens are rectangular in shape using round pans is not efficient with respect to using the space in an oven. Develop a model to show the distribution of heat across the outer edge of a pan for pans of different shapes - rectangular to circular and other shapes in between.


1. A width to length ratio of W/L for the oven which is rectangular in shape.

2. Each pan must have an area of A.

3. Initially two racks in the oven, evenly spaced.

Develop a model that can be used to select the best type of pan (shape) under the following conditions:

1. Maximize number of pans that can fit in the oven (N)

2. Maximize even distribution of heat (H) for the pan

3. Optimize a combination of conditions (1) and (2) where weights p and (1- p) are assigned to illustrate how the results vary with different values of W/L and p.

In addition to your MCM formatted solution, prepare a one to two page advertising sheet for the new Brownie Gourmet Magazine highlighting your design and results.

PROBLEM B: Water, Water, Everywhere

Fresh water is the limiting constraint for development in much of the world. Build a mathematical model for determining an effective, feasible, and cost-efficient water strategy for 2013 to meet the projected water needs of [pick one country from the list below] in 2025, and identify the best water strategy. In particular, your mathematical model must address storage and movement; de-salinization; and conservation. If possible, use your model to discuss the economic, physical, and environmental implications of your strategy. Provide a non-technical position paper to governmental leadership outlining your approach, its feasibility and costs, and why it is the "best water strategy choice."

Countries: United States, China, Russia, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia

COMAP, the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications, is an award-winning non-profit organization whose mission is to improve mathematics education for students of all ages. Since 1980, COMAP has worked with teachers, students, and business people to create learning environments where mathematics is used to investigate and model real issues in our world.

Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone has been recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development, as one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Workplaces by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2015 


Suzanne Thomas, APR
Director of University Relations
Malone University
2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W., Canton, OH, 44709
Phone: 330.471.8239
Cell: 330.324.2424

Categories: academics