Distinguished Student Work

Document Type


Publication Date



Julie Dowling; Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy


Restatement of the Problem:

The integration of drones for light shows, alongside modes of delivery, have seen soaring popularity with modernity: both literally and physically. With the employment of drones in events like the Superbowl, and Intel light shows, drones’ uses have widespread implications that are quickly gaining momentum. In an order to implement these drones in light shows, adherence to regulations alongside quantifying and monitoring the path for a set number of drones is crucial.

For an outdoor aerial light show that will display a Ferris wheel, a dragon, and another unique image, various factors need to be taken into account including the required airspace, launch site, safety considerations, and flight path.

Our objective is to mathematically delineate the flight path for the drones and form the desired figures in the sky. We plan to achieve this goal by quantitatively analyzing the shape of the displays while calculating their path. By investigating these formations, we hope to have an efficient model for drone light shows that adhere to the standards and regulations.


The team received a Meritorious rating at the HiMCM International Mathematics Modeling Contest.

Included in

Mathematics Commons



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