Mathematical Contest in Modeling

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The Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) is a multi-day mathematics competition held annually in USA, during the first or second weekend in February, since 1985 by COMAP and sponsored by SIAM, the NSA, and INFORMS. It is distinguished from other major mathematical competitions such as Putnam by its strong focus on research, originality, teamwork, communication and justification of results. It runs concurrently with the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM).

Problems[edit]

At the beginning of the contest, teams have a choice between two problems. Problem A involves a system that requires the use of continuous mathematics, and thus often involves concepts from geometry, physics, or engineering. Problem B involves a system that requires the use of discrete mathematics. In 2016, a "data insights" problem was added, where teams are given access to database files and tasked with using them to answer a question.[1] This problem was designated as Problem C, though previously, Problem C referred to an ICM problem. These problems tend to be open-ended, and are drawn from all fields of science, business, and public policy. Past problems include

  • Estimate the global effects of a large asteroid impacting Antarctica (1999 A)
  • Study the hunting strategies of velociraptor dinosaurs based on fossil data (1997 A)
  • Develop a more efficient method of boarding passengers onto large commercial jets (2007 B)

Teams have 96 hours to research and submit their solutions in the form of a research paper. During this time, they may consult any available references, but may not discuss their problem with anyone outside their teams. Several guides containing advice and recommendations for teams and/or advisors have been published online or in print.[2][3][4]

Participation and Awards[edit]

Thousands of international teams of three undergraduates compete to produce original mathematical papers in response to one of two modeling problems. Initially, participation was largely from the United States, however in recent years international participation has grown significantly, particularly from the People's Republic of China, so that in 2007 teams from the United States comprised only 24% of total participation. In 2014, the percentage of teams from the People's Republic of China reached a record high of 92.9%.

After the competition, all papers are judged and placed into the following categories:

  • Unsuccessful Participant
  • Successful Participant (approximately 40% of teams)
  • Honorable Mention (approximately 25% of teams)
  • Meritorious Winner (usually 10 to 15% of teams)
  • Finalist (approximately 1% of teams)
  • Outstanding Winner (less than .5% of teams)

Until 2009, Outstanding Winner papers were published in The UMAP Journal.

Results[edit]

2015 [5][edit]

  • 7636 teams participated
  • Problem A Outstanding Winners
    • Northwestern Polytechnical University, China
    • State University of New York, University at Buffalo, NY — MAA Prize Recipient
    • Chongqing University, China — SIAM Prize Recipient
    • Central South University, China — Ben Fusaro Award
    • University of Adelaide, Australia — INFORMS Prize Recipient
  • Problem B Outstanding Winners
    • University of Colorado Boulder, CO — SIAM Prize Recipient & Two Sigma Scholarship Award
    • Bethel University, MN — MAA Prize Recipient & Frank Giordano Award
    • University of Colorado Boulder, CO
    • Colorado College, CO — INFORMS Prize Recipient
    • Tsinghua University, China

2014 [6][edit]

  • 6755 teams participated
  • Problem A Outstanding Winners
    • Shanghai Jiaotong University, China
    • Tsinghua University, China — INFORMS & Ben Fusaro Award
    • Nanjing University, China
    • Zhejiang University, China— SIAM Prize Recipient
    • Beijing Normal University, China
    • Tufts University, MA — MAA Prize Recipient
  • Problem B Outstanding Winners
    • Chongqing University, China
    • University of International Business and Economics, China
    • Southeast University, China
    • Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China — Frank Giordano Award
    • Southwest University for Nationalities, China — SIAM Prize Recipient
    • College of Information Science and Engineering; Northeastern University, China
    • NC School of Science and Mathematics, NC — INFORMS & MAA Prize Recipient

2013 [7][edit]

  • 5636 teams participated
  • Problem A Outstanding Winners
    • Bethel University, MN — MAA Prize Recipient
    • Fudan University, China
    • Peking University, China
    • Shandong University, China — INFORMS Prize Recipient
    • Shanghai Jiaotong University, China
    • University of Colorado Boulder, CO — SIAM Prize Recipient
    • Tongji University, China — Ben Fusaro Award (Finalist)
  • Problem B Outstanding Winners
    • Beijing Univ. of Posts and Telecomm, China
    • Colorado College, CO — Frank Giordano Award
    • Nanjing University, China — INFORMS Prize Recipient
    • Tsinghua University, China — SIAM Prize Recipient
    • University of Colorado Boulder, CO — MAA Prize Recipient

2012[8][edit]

  • 3697 teams participated
  • Problem A Outstanding Winners
    • Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
    • National University of Singapore, Singapore — Ben Fusaro Award
    • Shanghai Foreign Language School, China — INFORMS Prize Recipient
    • Zhejiang University, China — SIAM Prize Recipient
    • Cornell University, NY — MAA Prize Recipient (Finalist)
  • Problem B Outstanding Winners
    • Bethel University, MN
    • Peking University, China
    • University of Colorado, CO — MAA Prize Recipient
    • University of Colorado, CO — INFORMS Prize Recipient
    • University of Louisville, KY — SIAM Prize Recipient
    • Western Washington University, WA — Frank Giordano Award

2011[9][edit]

  • 2775 teams participated
  • Problem A Outstanding Winners
    • Eastern Oregon University, OR — MAA Prize Recipient
    • Peking University, China
    • Tsinghua University, China —SIAM Prize Recipient
    • University of Western Ontario, Canada — INFORMS Prize Recipient & Ben Fusaro Award
  • Problem B Outstanding Winners
    • Harvey Mudd College, CA — SIAM Prize Recipient
    • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY
    • University of Electronic Science and Technology, China — INFORMS Prize Recipient & Ben Fusaro Award
    • Virginia Tech, VA — MAA Prize Recipient

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]