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Problem Title: Camping along the Big Long River

  Year: 2013      
  Student Level: Undergraduate      
  Source: MCM      
  Commentary: Yes (3)      
  Student Papers: Yes (6)      

Visitors to the Big Long River (225 miles) can enjoy scenic views and exciting white water rapids. The river is inaccessible to hikers, so the only way to enjoy it is to take a river trip that requires several days of camping. River trips all start at First Launch and exit the river at Final Exit, 225 miles downstream. Passengers take either oar- powered rubber rafts, which travel on average 4 mph or motorized boats, which travel on average 8 mph. The trips range from 6 to 18 nights of camping on the river, start to finish.. The government agency responsible for managing this river wants every trip to enjoy a wilderness experience, with minimal contact with other groups of boats on the river. Currently, X trips travel down the Big Long River each year during a six month period (the rest of the year it is too cold for river trips). There are Y camp sites on the Big Long River, distributed fairly uniformly throughout the river corridor. Given the rise in popularity of river rafting, the park managers have been asked to allow more trips to travel down the river. They want to determine how they might schedule an optimal mix of trips, of varying duration (measured in nights on the river) and propulsion (motor or oar) that will utilize the campsites in the best way possible. In other words, how many more boat trips could be added to the Big Long River’s rafting season? The river managers have hired you to advise them on ways in which to develop the best schedule and on ways in which to determine the carrying capacity of the river, remembering that no two sets of campers can occupy the same site at the same time. In addition to your one page summary sheet, prepare a one page memo to the managers of the river describing your key findings.


Judges' Commentary: The Outstanding River Problem Papers

Marie Vanisko
Dept. of Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science
Carroll College


Author's Commentary: The Outstanding River Problem Papers

Catherine A. Roberts
Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science
College of the Holy Cross


Judges' Commentary: The Giordano Award for the River Problem

Marie Vanisko
Dept. of Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science
Carroll College

Richard D.West
Mathematics Dept.
Francis Marion University

  Student Papers      

Team 13074: Best schedule to utilize the Big Long River

Peking University, China


Team 13955: Computing Along the Big Long River

Western Washington University, WA


Team 15171: Optimization Of Seasonal Throughput And Campsite Utilization On The Big Long River

University of Colorado, CO


Team 15417: Getting our Priorities Straight For the Purpose of Maximizing Efficiency on the Big Long River

Bethel University, MN


Team 15420: Optimal Scheduling for the Big Long River

University of Colorado, CO


Team 15878: C.A.R.S.: Cellular Automaton Rafting Simulation Subtitle

University of Louisville, KY