Two teams of students from Pine View School—Kristoffer Selberg, Michael Gutierrez, Pragnya Govindu, Nicholas Butakow and Christiana Guan from the first team, and Jack Gallahan, Alexander, Douglas, Vinay Konuru, Danny McDonald and Julia Kourelakos from the second team—have advanced to the finals in the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics' MathWorks Math Modeling (M3) Challenge, which this year drew more than 3,500 11th and 12th grade participants from across the nation. Using mathematical modeling, the students had 14 hours in late February and early March to come up with a solution to a real-world issue: transitioning to sustainable, large-scale electric trucking in the United States. Teams were asked create mathematical models to predict what percentage of semi-trucks will be electric in the next few years and decades, to determine the number and locations of charging stations along major U.S. trucking routes that are needed for an all-electric trucking industry, and to prioritize which routes should be developed with electric charging infrastructure. Students had to make intelligent decisions about the necessary charging infrastructure and weigh the economic and environmental implications for the communities surrounding the trucking corridors.
In addition to the two teams from Pine View, the seven other finalist teams are from high schools in Lincolnshire, Illinois; Memphis, Tennessee; Columbus, Indiana; Plymouth, Minnesota; Silver Spring, Maryland; Fullerton, CA; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Winning teams will be awarded a share of $100,000 in scholarships, with the champion team receiving $20,000. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's competition will be judged virtually instead of in New York City, where it usually takes place.