Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winning submission in the 2008 Moody's Mega Math Challenge: Ethanol: Not All It Seems To Be

A group of students from High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey, submitted a paper entitled "Ethanol: Not All It Seems To Be," and won the 2008 Moody's Mega Math Challenge, along with their work being published in the January 2009 issue of The Mathematical Association of America's College Mathematics Journal.

Some of the conclusions reached the high environmental and economic costs of ethanol replacing gasoline, nuclear power would be far better for alternative energy, and prices wouldn't be cost effective until oil was selling at $233 a barrel.

Ethanol: Not All It Seems To Be can be read here. Tom Jackson, Afanasiy Yermakov, Jason Zukus, and Kelly Roache were the four students that wrote the paper.

3 comments:

mus302 said...

Does it not concern you that your intellectual argument may be somewhat weak if you are having to defer to the collective wisdom of a group of high school students?

Dean Billing said...

Nice mathematical analysis, but it is based on one huge fallacy that all arguments about how E10 will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Nobody has a clue what the fuel injection computers in our modern, non Flex-Fuel, cars do when they see ethanol. There has never been a statistically significant independent study on the mileage effects of E10 on the American auto population. If one goes by anecdotal evidence from talking to independent garages the mileage hit can be higher than 10%, sometimes as high as 25%. Until this study is done, and the software in the computers is validated to handle ethanol at the 10% and now proposed higher range, all analysis about GHG reduction and energy independence is a waste of time.

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