The Mathematical Contest in Modeling and Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling are international competitions sponsored by COMAP that ask teams of three undergraduates to spend a weekend modeling an applied mathematics problem.
In the MCM, teams receive short descriptions of two open-ended problems. One of the problems has a continuous flavor (e.g. engineering, differential equations, or physics) and the other has a discrete flavor (e.g. computer science, graph theory, or combinatorics). Teams choose one of the two problems to work on, and may use any inanimate aids (books, computers, research papers, etc.). Their job is to scope the problem, develop a model, apply their model, and analyze their model in a complete report. They have only 96 hours to do this - approximately 6pm on a Thursday until 6pm the next Monday.
In the ICM, teams receive a short description of a single interdisciplinary problem which eflects a quantitative situation in mathematics, operations research, systems engineering, security (industrial, information, or physical), and resource and environmental protection and management. We try to pick teams with students from Mathematics, Computer Science, and the Natural Sciences. Again, they may use any inanimate aids as they spend their weekend scoping their problem, developing a model, applying their model, analyzing their model and writing a complete report. This contest takes place during the same weekend in early February.
If you are a current Carroll student interested in competing, please contact Dr. Kelly Cline or Dr. Ted Wendt. To prepare our teams for the competition, we have weekly training sessions that start in mid October.
In recent years, our students have been performing very well in the competition. We are very proud of all students who choose to compete, and many feel that it is a capstone experience in their undergraduate education. Each year, COMAP designates the top 1% of all papers as Outstanding Winner, the next 13% or so are designated Meritorious Winner and the remainder of the top 50% are designated Honorable Mention. Those teams that survived the weekend with a viable product comprise the next 50% - Successful Participant.
Carroll student Anthony Rasca has put together a video mosiac of pictures from the 2004 MCM and ICM. The video is 19.4 Mb and requires the Microsoft Windows Media Player.