Carroll College, Helena Montana

Math Modeling Contests

Math Modeling Contests

What is the MMMC?

On September 20th, 2014, Carroll College hosted the first annual Montana Math Modeling Challenge (MMMC). This regional math contest gives undergraduate students the opportunity to apply their math skills to real world problems. In teams of three, students have 23 hours to develop and test a model and write a one-page summary of their findings; an additional (24th) hour will be available in order for teams to finalize a 10 minute presentation explaining their result. Soon after completing their presentation, teams present their findings to other student MMMC participants. The event concludes with an award ceremony that highlights the work of winning teams as determined by students and advisors.

What are the MCM and ICM?

The Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) and its sister contest, the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM) are international competitions sponsored by COMAP that ask teams of three undergraduates to spend a weekend modeling an applied mathematics problem. These competitions provide great opportunities for students to focus on problem solving skills in a real-world environment. Problems come from research areas of applied mathematics related to many fields – business, environmental sciences, and sports are a few examples. Student teams are given 96 hours to analyze a single open ended problem, develop a model of the problem, solve the model, and write a report. Carroll’s faculty meet with student teams weekly in the months before the competition to help them prepare for the unique nature of this international contest.

Why do the MCM/ICM?

COMAP's Mathematical Contest in Modeling(MCM) successfully encourages teamwork, creativity and written exposition. However, one (logistically necessary) element that many students remark is lacking from this competition is adequate feedback -- both from the micro perspective "What do the judges really think of my team's paper?" to the macro "How did other teams answer this question?" This contest was designed in response to the aforementioned student concerns and has been developed to meet the following objectives:

  • Encourage independent thinking.
  • Promote collaboration.
  • Develop mathematical communication abilities.
  • Prepare student teams to participate in the MCM.
  • Create a unique mathematical community.

Interested in Competing?

More information about the MMMC can be found by reading the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and the schedule. You can also download the MMMC flier here. If you have additional questions or comments, or if you are interested in being a part of future contests, please feel free to contact me.

Carroll Math Teams Excel in 2015 International Competition

The Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP) recently announced the results of the 17th annual Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) & Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM), held in February 2015. All nine of the Carroll teams competing in the competition placed, at a minimum, in the top third of all participants.

The MCM/ICM is a unique international contest for undergraduate students. It challenges teams of students to clarify, analyze, and propose solutions to open-ended real-world problems. Students participate as team members rather than as individuals, creating an environment for sharing knowledge and skills. Student teams are given 96 hours to analyze a single open-ended problem, develop a model of the problem, solve the model, and write a report.

This year, 27 Carroll students volunteered to compete in nine teams of three students. In the contest, each team selected one of four open-ended real-world problems. This year’s problems involved (A) developing strategies for eradicating the Ebola virus, (B) creating methods for finding a plane that went down in the ocean, (C) managing human capital in organizations, and (D) developing a 20-year sustainable development plan for an underdeveloped nation. This year, 9,767 teams from colleges and universities across the globe competed in the MCM/ICM.

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