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UMW Hosts Brain Fest Mathematical Modeling Competition

The University of Montana Western Department of Mathematics invites all interested high school juniors and seniors to compete in UMW’s second annual BrainFest mathematical modeling competition on Friday, February 16, 2024 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the STC Great Room.



During the BrainFest competition, contestants will work in small teams led by Montana Western math majors to model pterosaur hunting behaviors. A team of UMW mathematics professors will be present to pose questions and to offer guidance throughout the process. This free event also includes lunch for all participants. 


BrainFest will provide an opportunity to dive into an immersive, hands-on, problem-solving, mathematical experience – giving participants a taste of what Montana Western students and faculty do every block. The competition will conclude with presentations, and the competitors with the most effective models will receive a $500 scholarship to Montana Western.

Students interested in the following topics are encouraged to sign-up: 


  • Mathematics and/or natural sciences

  • Problem solving

  • Asking questions and then learning how to design a project to answer those questions

  • Working with peers, math major mentors, and/or math professors

  • Making connections


“The UMW mathematics faculty are looking forward to hosting BrainFest not only because we have a lot of fun putting it together, but more importantly because BrainFest gives students an opportunity to think creatively and work with UMW faculty and students. It was a great experience last year and we look forward to hosting it again this February,” said BrainFest Coordinator and UMW Assistant Professor of Developmental Mathematics, Liz Wright. 


To register for the competition, visit https://apply.umwestern.edu/register/brainfest2023. Space is limited, so please register as soon as possible. For more information, please contact Liz Wright at liz.wright@umwestern.edu.  




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