In January 2018, I competed in COMAP’s Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling. Over a period of about 100 hours, I worked with my team of two other freshmen on our 20-page report addressing ICM problem D. Essentially, we were looking at how a nation could implement an all-electric vehicle network and had to answer a variety of specific prompts in a cohesive report.
Despite having easily 10 waking day hours taken from us for having to conduct a Saturday A.M. Inspection (a strict barracks room inspection that takes hours to prepare for) and a ruck march for military weekend training, my team was pleased to discover in April that our report got a Finalist rating! In other words, our paper was rated between the top 11 and top 7 of over 3100 reports submitted by collegiate teams from around the world.
I have a team ready to compete again in this January 2019. With another year of study under our belts (and no Saturday military training this year), hopefully we will get the coveted Outstanding rating, win ourselves $10,000, have our report actually influence policy, learn even more than last year, and signal to the world that we can crank out great work in a short amount of time.
Update: Our paper did win the Outstanding rating as well as the Rachel Carson award!