Midland College math team wins 2022 grand prize

MIDLAND In July, the Midland College (MC) Student Research League learned that they were regional finalists in the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) competition and would advance to the national level. Then, on Sept. 14, AMATYC notified MC that the college’s Student Math Research League won the Grand Prize for the 2022 competition!

The competition began last spring when teams throughout the U.S. had 18 days to research and prepare a report analyzing the costs and benefits of using electric vehicles, including direct costs to users and to the economy as well as costs to the environment. This project included a cost-benefit analysis on whether changing to an electric vehicle for a specific usage is feasible.

The MC student team based their model around the personal use of electric vehicles. After researching the costs of milling/forging lithium batteries, manufacturing and transportation of materials, as well as environmental and economic impacts, they concluded that the focus should not be on requiring government step-ins and huge alternative incentives, but rather let technological advances in the electric vehicle industry guide consumer interests. They also concluded that as technology advances in hybrid systems, it will allow for more electrical usage and less gasoline consumption, thereby giving more mileage range, faster charging and cheaper consumer options.

In the email notification, AMATYC commended the MC team’s well-researched data points, explanation of assumption and equations, and the easy-to-understand and thorough timeline.

“The competition was tight this year, so you should be very proud of your students,” wrote Vinodh Chellamuthu, AMATYC Student Research League coordinator, in the email.

The winning MC three-person student team was composed of Arnoldo Montanez, Jael Ornelas and Parker Tew, all of whom were enrolled in college-level math courses while attending Early College High School at Midland College (ECHS@MC). Jamie Kneisley, MC associate professor of Math, mentored the students during the competition.