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 SRU Students Participating in Online, Worldwide Math Contest 



Feb. 23, 2005

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine 724-738-4854;


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – During their participation in the worldwide Mathematical Contest on Modeling, three Slippery Rock University math majors calculated the hypothetical number of tollbooths needed for an interstate in New Jersey.

The team of Joel Normand and Pete Schallot, both of Slippery Rock, and Philip Schumacher of Prospect competed against 855 other teams.

The trio slept in shifts and logged four days of continuous work at the math lab in Vincent Science Hall. The online competition, sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematic and its Applications since 1984, requires students to work in teams of three.

Teams choose between two problems posted on the Internet and have four days to write a solution, SRU’s Dr. Richard Marchand, professor of math, said. “The contest is challenging,” he added, “because students tackle vague and open-ended, real-world problems.”

Solutions are judged on accuracy, clarity and organization, with the top three winners having their solution published in the Undergraduate Mathematics and Its Applications Journal.The judging won't be completed until March 31. 

“Students essentially receive on-the-job training as applied mathematicians,” said Marchand, who supervised the students’ work.  “This gives them an opportunity to apply some of the mathematics they have learned while encouraging them to learn additional mathematics that may be necessary to derive a solution.”


 Slippery Rock Eagle, Butler Eagle

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