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Problem Title: Searching for a lost plane

  Year: 2015      
  Student Level: Undergraduate      
  Source: MCM      
  Commentary: Yes (2)      
  Student Papers: Yes (5)      

Recall the lost Malaysian flight MH370. Build a generic mathematical model that could assist "searchers" in planning a useful search for a lost plane feared to have crashed in open water such as the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Southern, or Arctic Ocean while flying from Point A to Point B. Assume that there are no signals from the downed plane. Your model should recognize that there are many different types of planes for which we might be searching and that there are many different types of search planes, often using different electronics or sensors. Additionally, prepare a 1-2 page non-technical paper for the airlines to use in their press conferences concerning their plan for future searches.


Judges' Commentary: Lost Plane Problem

     Robert Burks
     Defense Analysis Dept.
     Naval Postgraduate School


Judge's Commentary: The Frank Giordano Award for 2015

     Francis Marion University

  Student Papers      

Team 32879: Into the Void: A Probabalistic Approach to the Search for Missing Aircraft

University of Colorado Boulder, CO


Team 36178: So You Lost a Plane?

Bethel University, MN


Team 38720: Hidden in Plane Sight: Finding Lost Airplanes Before Time Runs Out

University of Colorado Boulder, CO


Team 39173: Searching for a Lost Plane: A Probabilistic, Neighborhood-Based Model for Locating Transoceanic Flights

Colorado College, CO


Team 40612: Searching for a Lost Plane

Tsinghua University, China