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Problem Title: Wind and Waterspray

  Year: 2002      
  Student Level: Undergraduate      
  Source: MCM      
  Commentary: Yes (1)      
  Student Papers: Yes (4)      

An ornamental fountain in a large open plaza surrounded by buildings squirts water high into the air. On gusty days, the wind blows spray from the fountain onto passersby. The water-flow from the fountain is controlled by a mechanism linked to an anemometer (which measures wind speed and direction) located on top of an adjacent building. The objective of this control is to provide passersby with an acceptable balance between an attractive spectacle and a soaking: The harder the wind blows, the lower the water volume and height to which the water is squirted, hence the less spray falls outside the pool area.

Your task is to devise an algorithm which uses data provided by the anemometer to adjust the water-flow from the fountain as the wind conditions change.


Judge's Commentary: The Outstanding Wind and Waterspray Papers

Patrick J. Driscoll
Department of Systems Engineering
U.S. Military Academy

  Student Papers      

Simulating a Fountain

Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, Richmond, VA


The Fountain That Math Built

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, NC


Wind andWaterspray

U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY


A Foul-Weather Fountain

University of Washington, Seattle, WA