The Moody's Foundation is a charitable foundation established by Moody's Corporation. Moody'sis committed to supporting education, in particular the study of mathematics, finance and economics. The Foundation also funds specific initiatives in the areas of health and human services, arts and culture, civic and economic development programs. These programs are primarily located in New York City. Grants are also made in San Francisco, California, and London, England.Moody's is an essential component of the global capital markets, providing credit ratings, research, tools and analysis that contribute to transparent and integrated financial markets. Moody's Corporation (NYSE: MCO) is the parent company of Moody's Investors Service, which provides credit ratings and research covering debt instruments and securities, and Moody's Analytics, which offers leading-edge software, advisory services and research for credit and economic analysis and financial risk management. The Corporation, which reported revenue of $2.3 billion in 2011, employs approximately 6,000 people worldwide and maintains a presence in 28 countries. Further information is available at www.moodys.com.
The M3 Challenge spotlights applied mathematics as a powerful problem-solving tool, as a viable and exciting profession, and as a vital contributor to advances in an increasingly technical society. Scholarship prizes total $115,000. The Challenge is entirely Internet-based and there are no registration or participation fees. Each high school may enter up to two teams of three to five junior and/or senior students. No exceptions will be made to allow underclassmen. Students choose which day they wish to work on Challenge weekend and have 14 hours (7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time) to solve an open-ended, realistic, applied math-modeling problem focused on a real-world issue. Teams can work from any location they choose and can use any free and publicly available resources, but they may not discuss any aspect of the problem with, or seek help from, their coach or anyone other than their teammates via any medium.
Panels of Ph.D.-level applied mathematicians serve as judges in the three rounds of judging. Coaches and teams will be notified in April of the judging results. Teams selected for the top six prizes are required to present their papers at the confirmation (third) judging round to determine final rank-order of those papers.
The top six prize-winning teams receive scholarship awards ranging from $2,500 to $20,000, which are divided equally among team members and paid directly to the colleges or universities at which the winning students enroll. Semi-finalist and honorable mention winners receive team prizes of $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.
In 2006, the inaugural year for Moody's Mega Math Challenge, only high schools located in the New York City Metropolitan area were eligible to participate. Since then, the M3 Challenge area of eligibility has grown to include the Eastern United States, a total of 29 states. It is anticipated that through a series of gradual, planned expansions, the Challenge will be offered nationwide in 2016.
The M3 Challenge is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including: 2010-2012 National Association of Secondary School Principals' National Advisory List of Student Contests & Activities; 2010 Graphic Design USA's American Inhouse Design Award (internet design); 2009 ASAE Associations Advance America (AAA) Award of Excellence; 2008 Excellence Award Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP); 2006 Graphic Design USA's American Inhouse Design Award (print creative).