News Releases

Mines students compete in mathematical modeling contest
Release Date Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The 2014 Mathematical Contest Modeling team from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology are, from left, Erica Daniels, Christopher Cody and Daniel Nix.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (Feb. 26, 2014) – A team of three undergraduate students from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology recently competed in the 30th annual Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM).

Teams were comprised of up to three students from the same school. Representing the School of Mines this year were Erica Daniels of Lennox, Christopher Cody of Saint Peter, Minn., and Daniel Nix of Sioux Falls. Kyle Riley, Ph.D., head of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, served as team advisor. 

Teams are given a choice between two problems. After picking their problem, they are required to research the question, develop a mathematical model, create a computer simulation and write a technical report about it all within one weekend.

The Mines team chose a problem involving a rule that requires motorists to drive in the right-most lane unless they are passing another vehicle, in which case they move one lane to the left to pass and then return to the right lane. The team’s challenge was to build a mathematical model to analyze vehicle results following this rule in light and heavy traffic. The contest also posed the idea of how cars controlled by computers instead of humans would affect models.

Results from the competition will be released at the end of April. For more information about the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, visit the contest website at


About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at