If you enjoy math, modeling and real world problem solving you might enjoy solving the problems in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM). The task is to mathematically model and computationally solve a real world problem. These contests are designed specifically for undergraduate students and about a thousand teams worldwide compete each year. The problems in both the Interdisciplinary and Mathematical Modeling contests have a broad scope drawing from several areas. Therefore, we welcome students from different departments. For example the problems from the 2011 competition were:
  1. Produce a ski half-pipe design to maximize the vertical "air" (jumps) a snowboarder can make.
  2. Place repeater nodes in a wireless network to optimize coverage and throughput.
  3. How environmentally and economically sound are electric vehicles? Is their widespread use feasible and practical?

Schedule 2015-2016:

Nov 4, 4pm in CSC-333: Introductory meeting

Reading week: A chance to start practicing on some of the training problems.
See "Mathmodels" link on at bottom left.

Nov 18 or 25 (Tenatively) Meeting to discuss and review the problems you solved and challenges encountered.

Rest of fall and winter until competition: approximately bi-weekly review meetings until competition.

We may have a local qualifications competition in January.

Jan 28-Feb 1: MCM/ICM international competition

Schedule Previous years:

To help you prepare we have a weekly seminar and practice competitions here at UofA:
  • Weekly seminar Wednesdays 5-6:30pm in CSC 3-49.
  • Practice competitions
  • International competition
  • Courses and course credit

    Practice problems

    It is a good idea to practice on similar problems of varying difficulty. In addition to preparing for the contest, this will help you develop a unique ability to tackle real-world problems that is not taught in any single course in the university. This experience will be useful in future studies, jobs and life and we think that is the most valuable part of the training. Generally solving the problems include the following steps, which we will study and practice:

    Previous year schedule:

    Schedule Winter semester 2012:
    Wednesdays weekly meetings (see fall schedule below)
    < b> Schedule 2011:
    Weekly meetings Wednesdays 5:30-7pm in CSC3-49.
    Fri Jan 27 5pm Information Session CSC-333
    Sat Jan 28 10am-2pm UofA Qualification competition
    Fri Feb 5 (Tentative) Results of Quals. Likely 5PM, location CSC 3-49
    Feb 10-13 International MCM/ICM competition

    The information session on Fri will outline the MCM procedures and give some suggestions for how to be successful. We also recommend you read the rules on the MCM home page and guide from K. Cline in the links to the left.

    For the UofA qualifier on Sat, we will post problems on this website. You solve the problems, write a PDF report and email the report to us. You can work where you like (at home or in the library), and be alone or in groups of up to three. For groups we ask that you identify in the report who did what aspect.

    The international contest is held over a four day period each February (February 10-13, 2012 this year). During this time, students, working in teams of three, are given an advanced, open ended, mathematical or interdisciplinary modeling problem and asked, over four days, to find a solution and write a report about it.