­Math students wait for results of ‘best coaches’ competition

Six Shippensburg University students are waiting for the results of a mathematics competition to determine who is the best college coach in various sports. The results will be announced in late April.

Shippensburg was represented by two teams of three students each during the recent Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications’ (COMAP) International Mathematical Contest in Modeling. One team included Jacob Evjene, Jennifer Flinchbaugh and Allen Koederitz and the other team included Grant Innerst, Mary Long and Lindsey Schadler. Dr. Ben Galluzzo, assistant professor of mathematics, was adviser to both teams.

The contest, which last year attracted more than 5,600 teams worldwide, challenged undergraduate students to clarify, analyze and propose solutions to one of two open-ended problems over the 96-hour contest.

Each of the SU teams chose a problem that asked them to create a mathematical ranking scheme to identify the best college coaches (past or present) from among either male or female coaches in such sports as college hockey, field hockey, football, baseball, softball, basketball, or soccer. Students were then asked to present their model’s top five coaches in each of three different sports as well as prepare a one- to two-page article for Sports Illustrated to provide a non-technical explanation of the mathematical model.

“We are proud to have students that are willing to challenge themselves,” said Galluzzo.