Published: April 3, 2006

A team of three University of Colorado at Boulder undergraduate students has been named among the top winners in the prestigious Mathematical Contest in Modeling for the third year in a row.

CU-Boulder students Brian Camley, Pascal Getreuer and Brad Klingenberg gave up their Super Bowl weekend in February to solve a contest problem about the most efficient way to position and move sprinklers for irrigation. Last week, they were named one of 12 "Outstanding Winners" from a field of 748 teams that entered.

The annual contest sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications took place over a 96-hour period from Feb. 2 through Feb. 6. Each three-member team was instructed to select one of three open-ended, applied problems, formulate a mathematical model with which to analyze it, draw conclusions and submit a solution.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the only team to win Outstanding for three consecutive years in the history of the contest," said Anne Dougherty, associate chair of applied mathematics at CU-Boulder.

The team first entered the modeling contest in 2004, when the students were in their first or second year of college. This year, all three are about to embark on graduate-level studies. Klingenberg, who is majoring in applied mathematics, is enrolled in the concurrent bachelor's-master's degree program at CU-Boulder. Getreuer, who is also majoring in applied mathematics, and Camley, who is double-majoring in math and physics, will graduate in May and are applying to graduate schools.

A record 15 students from CU-Boulder, constituting five teams, entered this year's contest, including students majoring in applied mathematics, computer science, mathematics, physics and engineering physics. Three of the teams were named Meritorious Winners, and one team received an Honorable Mention.

"We are extremely pleased with the exceptional performance of all of the CU-Boulder teams," Dougherty said. "CU has excellent students and we train them well, which makes for a powerful combination."

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