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Students Shine at Math Contest

By Lisa Stratton
UW-RF University Communications

APRIL 21, 2006--Three University of Wisconsin-River Falls students participated this year in the annual Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP) contest and received an honorable mention for their research. The team consisted of Ashley Bertrand, from St. Paul, Minn., Tony Ludwig, from Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and Brian Estervig, a River Falls native.

The contest is open to teams of students around the world, and students choose one of two problems supplied by COMAP to work on. The UW-River Falls team chose a problem related to irrigation. They were asked to design an irrigation system using "an algorithm to determine how to irrigate the rectangular field that minimizes the amount of time required by a rancher to maintain the irrigation system."

A difficult task, but Bertrand, Ludwig and Estervig rose to the occasion. After much research, they developed a computer program to describe their model, and wrote an analytical paper on their works.

"In my view, simply participating in the contest is a tremendous accomplishment,” says Kathy Tomlinson, an associate professor of mathematics at UW-River Falls. Brian, Ashley and Tony have worked as a team to do research, apply mathematics, and write about their results. Receiving the honorable mention is really exciting. I am very proud of them."

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