Courses and course credit
Success in solving MCM problems (and solving problems in the real world) does not depend on a single course, but your general aptitude and backhground in science, math and computing solutions. However we teach two relevant courses Mathematical Modeling, math372, and Numerical Methods, cmput418.
Those who would like to get course credit for the MCM work can do so by registering in cmput418 and solving MCM problems instead of the regular course assignments. (We will generally try to not repeat material taught in courses in the MCM seminars. The seminars will complement courses and focus on the competition problems.)
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:
- Research: Wikipedia, Textbooks, Scientific papers, General Google searches
- Further refine specification of problem
- Come up with strategies to model the system. Do several models from simple/trivial -> advanced/complete
- Define how to test models. Locate or generate various test data sets..
- Implement model strategies on the computer.
- Evaluate the results of your strategies
- figure out how to present and graph your data.
- Write the paper. (Keep writing concurrently with working on above)
Previous year schedule:
Schedule Winter semester 2012:
Wednesdays weekly meetings (see fall schedule below)
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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.