Archbishop Stepinac High School

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Stepinac High School Math Team Advances To Next Round in the Moody Mega Math (M3) Challenge

Among 200 Teams Nation-wide that Will Compete for Top Honors and $150,000 in Scholarships

Archbishop Stepinac High School’s math team has earned the honor of advancing to the next round in the highly competitive Moody Mega Math(M3) Challenge—one of only 200 high school teams nation-wide that will be vying to cross the finish line and be rewarded with some of the $150,000 in scholarships.
Stepinac was among 1,121 teams comprising more than 5,000 students that competed in the first round of the recent Challenge, sponsored annually by The Moody’s Foundation and organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Stepinac’s team of bright mathematicians comprises seniors Terrence Tunnock of Yonkers; Zixiong Feng of White Plains and Tommy Nevin of Scarborough and junior Rao Fu of White Plains.

Faculty members Patricia Murphy and Steve Cupertino, respectively, are team coach and Advanced Placement Statistics instructor.

Frank Portanova, Vice Principal for Academics and Curriculum, said: “When you consider the high caliber of students who entered this competition in the first round, this is an amazing accomplishment for our school and students, adding. “This shows what happens when we recognize the academic potential of our students…the sky is the limit! “

Moody's Mega Math (M3) Challenge is a mathematical modeling contest for high school juniors and seniors. Students experience what it’s like to work as a team to tackle a real-world problem under time and resource constraints, akin to those faced by professional mathematicians working in industry. 

Initially, the Challenge comprised downloading and solving a problem within a 14-hour period. Working in groups of 3-5, the teams gathered data and information, documented their assumptions and devised a mathematical model to provide insight about the issue before submitting their solution.

More than 200 Ph.D.-level applied mathematicians serve as judges throughout the judging. Coaches and teams will be notified in April of the judging results.

The top six prize-winning teams will receive scholarship awards ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, divided equally among team members and paid directly to the colleges or universities at which they enroll. Semi-finalist and honorable mention winners (more than 80 awards) receive team prizes of $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.

First conducted in 2006 in the New York City metropolitan area, the Challenge was expanded and became available throughout the entire U.S. and its territories.