Wayzata math kids

Wayzata High School students participating in the Mathworks Math Modeling Challenge.

PLYMOUTH — Five Wayzata High School students spent their Monday, April 29, in New York City working through real-world math problems as finalists in the MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge.

The students are Amanda Chan, George Lyu, Zachary Xiong, Caroline Zeng and Alisha Zhu. Wayzata won a $5,000 team prize. The team was one of six recognized as finalists, according to the MathWorks website.

The students qualified in February by solving a real-world problem — substance abuse in America — with mathematical modeling. The students presented a 19-page documents outlining their solution via mathematical modeling, a news release said.

“Participants could use simulation and programming, probability and statistics, or even algebra to model the number of students who choose to use different substances,” said problem co-writer Katie Kavanagh, Clarkson University in the news release. “These students offer a unique perspective on what factors are important to consider, particularly at that critical, influential time in their own lives.”

Frances Stevenson is a reporter for the Lakeshore Weekly News, covering the communities around Lake Minnetonka.

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