The Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) is the world’s largest team-based, international contest for undergraduate college and secondary school students, and certainly one that has achieved and sustained a phenomenal balance in gender participation (42% female, 58% male). On 24-28 January 2019, the MCM will hold its 35th annual contest. Last year, 10670 teams from 1087 institutions in eighteen countries/regions participated in the contest, marking 2018 as the largest participation in MCM since its inception in 1984. Teams often represent a blend of disciplines across departments, intended to leverage a diversity of academic skills to bring to bear on the myriad of stated and implied requirements posed by each unique problem. Although all teams have an advisor (who could be advising more than one team), teams are on their own once the contest starts. Teams select one of three challenging real-world problems, each of which requires team members to carefully plan and conduct supporting research, make modeling decisions, and correctly apply appropriate mathematical methods to create and revise math models to solve the posed problem. All teams must then craft a complete 20-page technical report summarizing their effort, answering specific problem questions, and sharing insights related to the modeling environment and selected problem. This is truly peer learning and skill development at its best, and all within a short 96-hour time period! The attached contest overview describes general contest rules and requirements for participation.
If you think you might enjoy a challenge that will stretch your team’s academic skills in a manner that replicates quick-turn problem modeling and analysis common in commercial and industrial settings, then I hope to see your team in the 2019 MCM!
——Patrick Driscoll, Contest Director