Wilmette, News

News Briefs: New Trier takes home 2nd place, $15,000 in math challenge; D36 brings on new director of innovation; Leaf-blower bans go into effect May 15

A group of New Trier High School students placed second out of more than 600 teams in a prestigious international math competition.

For their runner-up showing in the MathWorks Math Modeling Challenge April 25 in New York City, Aruni Chenxi, Nika Chuzhoy, Max Hartman, Connor Lane and Nathan Liu earned $15,000 toward college scholarships

The event welcomed high school juniors and seniors from the United States and United Kingdom to use math modeling to predict the future of remote work. The competitors “analyzed the percent of jobs that are remote-ready and whether workers in those jobs will be willing or able to work remotely, then determined the percentage of workers who will go remote in a given city or metro area,” according to a press release.

The results reportedly were judged by Ph.d-level mathematicians from across the globe.

“What sets M3 Challenge apart from other math competitions is that it uniquely requires students to use math modeling as a process to represent, analyze, make predictions and provide insight into current phenomena,” said Michelle Montgomery, M3 Challenge program director at Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. “We pose big problems about real issues that many students may not know much about. They need to research, quantify the parameters, organize data, and use skills they’ve learned in math class but may have never related to something real.”

The winners were announced following a rigorous, six-week-long, three-round blind judging process engaging 150 applied mathematicians.

View the 2022 winning solution papers and full list of winning teams here.

Dr. Becky Mathison

District 36 brings on director of innovation from neighboring district 

Winnetka Public School District 36 has hired Dr. Becky Mathison as its director of innovation, teaching and learning effective July 1.

Mathison comes over from West Northfield District 31, where she served as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. She was also an administrator in Skokie D73 1/2, began her education career as a science teacher and is a co-founder of the Niles Township Instructional Coaching Network.

“We were fortunate to have a highly qualified slate of candidates for this position, and Dr. Mathison rose to the top due to her extensive leadership background as an educator, instructional coach and curriculum director,” D36 Superintendent Trish Kocanda said in a statement. “I am confident that Dr. Mathison’s passion for student-centered education will help the district meet the goals outlined in its Strategic Plan and Portrait of a Graduate.” 

“I am honored to have been selected for a leadership position in The Winnetka Public Schools,” Mathison said in the release. “I look forward to partnering with the skilled staff to continue the commitment to Progressive Education while evolving in order to execute the vision of the Portrait of a Graduate. My goal is to make my knowledge, passion for learning, and joy for the work an asset to the students and district.”

Leaf-blower restrictions to begin

Local leaf-blower bans go into effective Sunday, May 15.

New Trier Township communities all limit usage of gas-powered leaf blowers during the summer months, and the bans by the Villages of Wilmette and Kenilworth go are in effect from May 15 to Sept. 30.

“Gas-powered leaf blowers produce dangerous levels of noise and air pollution. Residents can help to reduce the nuisance caused by gas-powered leaf blowers, please speak to your landscaping contract about using battery or electric equipment,” according to a message from the Village of Wilmette.

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This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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