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Idaho State University math department hosts competition that attracts ISU, prep teams

October 30, 2018

Photo of participants at math competition.

POCATELLO – The team of Idaho State University math students comprised of Caleb Monoran, Alex Gose-Eells and Rosetta Roberts earned an Outstanding Award at the SIMIODE SCUDEM III 2018 Modeling Challenge hosted by the ISU Department of Mathematics and Statistics on Saturday, Oct. 27.

This ISU team was coached by Mufid Adudiab, an adjunct ISU math instructor.

SIMIOE stands for A Systemic Initiative for Modeling and Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations. SCUDEM stands for Student Competition Using Differential Equation Modeling.

Two other teams competed, including another from ISU and one from Idaho Falls High School. The second ISU team, comprised of students Alex Leonard and Jacob Tolman,

earned a SIMIODE Meritorious Award. It was coached by Yunrong Zhu, ISU associate professor and graduate director of the ISU Department of Math and Statistics.

The Idaho Falls High School team, comprised of James Finlayson and Porter Nielsen and coached by teacher Sharon Oliver, was granted a SIMODE Successful Award for its efforts.

Awards were determined by ISU faculty and peer judges and applied to how well the teams were able to solve the problem presented to them, “Problem B: Swing and a Hit.” This complicated problem required teams to create math formulas that would help create a large museum exhibit for children that would permit a metal ball to roll down a ramp as part of larger exhibit.

“This is the first time for us hosting such an event and we plan to hold it annually,” said Xiaoxia “Jessica” Xie, ISU assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, who helped organize the event. “It went very well, and I liked the communications between the team members with faculty members during the event. The most fun part of the event is the interaction between students, coaches and faculty during the presentation period.”

Xie said ISU hopes to grow the competition in Southeast Idaho. The local coordinators for the event are Bob Fisher, math professor and associate dean for the College of Science and Engineering, Zhu and Xie.

For more information on the competition, contact Xie at or visit