The American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) has an annual mathematics research competition called the Student Research League (SRL). This competition tasks teams with researching, analyzing, and proposing solutions to an open-ended, real-world modeling problem for which they have 18 days to complete. The 2020 challenge required teams to utilize tools gained from other STEM areas to “address the current state of student loan debt and develop a mathematically sound solution to combat this crisis.” Saint Paul College is proud to announce that it won both first and second place in this national competition! The winning teams included the following Saint Paul College students:
First Place – Mathieu Landretti, Sean McCauley, and Ryan Van Domelen
Second Place – Tyler Traub, Sharon Memoi, and Joshua Mensah
The winning team proposed a model with three options, along with a cost-benefit analysis, to eliminate student loan debt in 6, 9, or 11 years. These plans also incorporated a strategy to make all public colleges tuition-free! Enyinda Onunwor, Ph.D., Dean of STEM, served as the Faculty Mentor for the first-place team.
Each student from the First Place Team receives a $1,000 scholarship for winning this national competition. However, the value gained from this competition went well beyond financial compensation. When reflecting on this competition, each member referenced how much they learned in improving real-life critical skills, including team building, working through sensitive issues through open-minded communications, respecting diverse opinions, and finding common ground, which resulted in a time-sensitive solution to an overly complex problem. These students passionately believe this was an incredible addition to their educational experiences at Saint Paul College.
Avani Shah, Math Department Chair, was the Faculty Mentor for the 2nd place team. All three students from the 2nd place team received a $500 scholarship.
This is the second year that Saint Paul College has taken part in this AMATYC competition. In 2019, the competing team placed in the top 10. As part of its continuous efforts to provide valuable teaching lessons beyond the classroom, Saint Paul College is proactively planning on bringing future students forward to compete again in future challenges.
More information on AMATYC, SRL, and this competition can be found here