Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

MCM The Mathematical Contest in Modeling MCM The Mathematical Contest


									                                      MCM: The Mathematical Contest in Modeling
                                    ICM: The Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling

                             Contest Registration and Instructions

                       (All instructions and rules apply to ICM as well as to MCM, except where otherwise noted.)

To participate in MCM a team must be sponsored by a faculty advisor from their institution. The registration process
must be completed by the advisor.

There are several procedures that a team's advisor must go through at various times before, during, and after the
contest. Please read these instructions carefully and be sure to complete all the steps involved. It is the advisor's
responsibility to make sure that teams are correctly registered and that all steps required for participation in
MCM/ICM are completed.

We Suggest printing a copy of these contest instructions for reference before, during, and after the

Note that COMAP is in the USA Eastern time zone; all times given in these instructions are in terms of
Eastern time.

Before the contest registration deadline at 2pm EST on Thursday February 8, 2007 :
        Register your team online:
        The registration process will take you through a series of screens that ask you for your email
        address and contact information. Enter the required information as you step through the

        IMPORTANT: Be sure to use a valid current email address so that we can use it to contact you at any point
        before, during, or after the contest, if necessary.

            1. All teams must be registered before 2pm EST on Thursday February 8, 2007 . At that time the
                registration system will stop accepting new team registrations; any team not registered by that
                time will not be able to participate in MCM 2007_ . No exceptions will be made.
            2. To guard against the possibility of interruptions in internet service we recommend that all teams
                complete the registration process well in advance of the deadline of 2pm EST on Thursday
                February 8, 2007 . COMAP cannot accept late registrations for MCM/ICM under any circumstances,
                even if you are unable to reach our web site on the day of the contest. No exceptions will be
            3. Registration is via the contest web site. To register a team, go to
       If you are registering your first
                team for this year's contest, click on Register for 2007_ Contest on the left-hand side of the

    If you have already registered a team for this year's contest and want to register an additional team,
    click on Advisor Login and then login with the email address and password that you used when
    you registered your first team. Once you're logged in, click on the Register Another Team link
    near the upper right corner of the page and follow the instructions there.

    An advisor may register at most two teams. If you already have two teams registered then the
    Register Another Team link will not appear and you cannot register another team.

4. There can be no more than two teams from the same department participating in MCM, regardless of
    whether they have the same or different advisors.
5. There can be at most four teams from the same institution participating in MCM, regardless of
    whether they are from the same or different departments.

    For ICM there can be at most three teams from the same institution.

6. Registration Fee

    One of the final steps in the registration process is payment of the $ 75 registration fee
    per team. We accept payment via Mastercard or Visa, and payment must be made via
    our secure web site. We regret that we are not able to accept other forms of payment.

    The pages that process your credit card payment on our site are secure pages, which means that
    your credit card number is protected with encryption while being transmitted from your computer
    to our server. Our system does not store your credit card number; we only use it long enough to
    process your payment.

7. Once we have received approval from your financial institution (this takes only a few seconds), the
    system will issue a control number for your team. Your team is not fully registered until you have
    received a team control number. You should print out the page that gives your team
    control number; it also contains a reminder of the email address and password that you used
    when registering, and you will need these to complete the contest procedures.
8. You will not receive any email confirmation of your registration; the only confirmation you will
    receive will be the screen giving your team's control number.
9. The screen giving your team's control number is your confirmation that your team has been
    registered. In order to participate in the contest, however, you will need to return to the contest
    web site several times to enter and confirm information about your team, and to print out your
    team's control and summary sheets that you will use when preparing your team's solution packet.
    Please read the instructions below for details on these steps.

    If at any point before or during the contest you need to change any of the information (name,
    address, contact information, etc) that you specified when you registered, you can do so by logging
    in to the contest web site with the email address and password that you used when registering
    (click on the Advisor Login link on the left side of the screen). Once logged in, click on the Edit
    Advisor or Institution Data link near the upper right corner of the page.

         10. Return to the contest web site regularly to check for any updated instructions or announcements
             about the contest. Except in extreme circumstances, COMAP will not send any confirmation,
             reminders, or announcements by email. All communication regarding the contest will be via the
             contest web site.

Before the contest begins at 8pm EST on Thursday February 8, 2007 :
      Choose your team members:

         1. You must choose your team members before the contest begins at 8pm EST on Thursday February 8,
             2007 . Once the contest begins you may not add or change any team members (you may, however,
             remove a team member, if he or she decides not to participate).
         2. Each team may consist of a maximum of three students.
         3. No student may be on more than one team.
         4. Team members must be enrolled in school at the time of the contest, but do not have to be full-time.
             They must be enrolled at the same school as the advisor and other team members.

When the contest begins at 8pm EST on Thursday February 8, 2007 :
      Teams view the contest problems via the contest web site:

         1. The contest problems will become available precisely at 8pm EST on Thursday February 8, 2007 ;
             team members can view them by visiting
    No password will be needed to
             view the problems; simply go to the contest web site at or after 8pm EST on Thursday February 8,
             2007 and you will see a link to view the problems.
         2. If for some reason you cannot access our main web site at that time, go to our mirror site at
    or click here . The contest site and the mirror site are on
             two completely different networks in different parts of the USA. If you cannot access either one of
             them then it probably means that there is a problem with your local internet connection and you
             should contact your ISP to resolve the issue.
         3. The contest consists of a choice of three problems: A, B, and C.
                 o MCM teams should choose either problem A or problem B; an MCM team may
                     submit a solution to only one of the problems. MCM teams should not choose problem C.
                 o ICM teams should choose problem C. There is no choice for ICM teams. ICM teams
                     should not choose problem A or B.

      Teams prepare solutions:

         1. Teams may use any inanimate source of data or materials --- computers, software, references, web
             sites, books, etc., however all sources used must be credited. Failure to credit a source will result in
             a team being disqualified from the competition.
         2. Team members may not seek help from or discuss the problem with their advisor or anyone else,
             except other members of the same team. Input of any form from anyone other than student team
             members is strictly forbidden. This includes email, telephone contact, personal conversation,

    communication via web chat or other question-answer systems, or any other form of
3. Partial solutions are acceptable. There is no passing or failing cut-off score, nor will numerical scores
    be assigned. The MCM/ICM judges are primarily interested in the team's approach and methods.
4. Summary Sheet

    The summary is a very important part of your MCM paper. The judges place
    considerable weight on the summary, and winning papers are sometimes
    distinguished from other papers based on the quality of the summary. To write
    a good summary, imagine that a reader may choose whether to read the body
    of the paper based on your summary. Thus, a summary should clearly describe
    your approach to the problem and, most prominently, what your most important
    conclusions were. The summary should inspire a reader to learn the details
    of your work. Your concise presentation of the summary should inspire a
    reader to learn the details of your work. Summaries that are mere restatements
    of the contest problem, or are a cut-and-paste boilerplate from the
    Introduction are generally considered to be weak.

    To Summarize:
    Restatement Clarification of the Problem - state in your own words what you are going to do.

    Assumptions with Rationale/Justification - emphasize those assumptions that bear on the
    problem. List clearly all variables used in your model.

    Model Design and justification for type model used/developed.

    Model Testing and Sensitivity Analysis, including error analysis, etc.

    Discuss strengths and weakness to your model or approach.

    Provide algorithms in words, figures, or flow charts (as a step by step algorithmic approach) for
    all computer codes developed.

5. Conciseness and organization are extremely important. Key statements should present major ideas
    and results.

    Present a clarification or restatement of the problem, as appropriate.

    Present a clear exposition of all variables, assumptions, and hypotheses.

    Present an analysis of the problem, motivating or justifying the modeling to be used.

    Include a design of the model.

             Discuss how the model could be tested, including error analysis and stability (conditioning,
             sensitivity, etc.).

             Discuss any apparent strengths or weaknesses to your model or approach.

         6. Papers must be typed and in English.
         7. The solution must consist entirely of written text, and possibly figures, charts, or other written
             material, on paper only. No non-paper support materials such as computer files or disks will be
         8. Each page of the solution should contain the team control number and the page number
             at the top of the page; we suggest using a page header on each page, for example:
         10.             Team # 321                                     Page 6 of 13
         12. The names of the students, advisor, or institution should not appear on any page of the solution.
             The solution should not contain any identifying information other than the team control number.
         13. Any preparation rule not followed is grounds for team disqualification.

After the contest begins at 8pm EST on Thursday February 8, 2007 :
      Print Summary Sheet and Control Sheets
      While the teams are preparing their solutions, the advisor should

         1. Login to the contest web site (go to
             and click on Advisor Login and enter your email address and password).
         2. Enter the team member names and confirm that they are correctly spelled. This is exactly as the
             names and institutions will appear on the certificates. COMAP will not make any
             changes or reprint certificates for any reason.
         3. Specify the problem that your team has chosen to solve.
         4. Print one copy of the control sheet.
         5. Print one copy of the team summary sheet.

When the contest ends at 8pm EST on Monday February 12, 2007 :
      Prepare Solution Packet:

         1. Have each student sign the control sheet, pledging that they have abided by the contest rules and
         2. Take the completed summary sheet that your team has prepared and make three copies of it.
         3. Make three copies of your team's solution paper. Staple one copy of the summary sheet on top of
             each copy of the solution paper.
         4. Staple the control sheet on top of just one copy of the solution paper.

      Mail Solution Packet:

         1. After you have prepared your team's solution packet as above, mail it to

                        MCM/ICM Coordinator
                        COMAP, Inc.
                        175 Middlesex Turnpike, Suite 3B
                        Bedford, MA 01730

           2. COMAP must receive your solution on or before Friday February 23, 2007 . It is your responsibility to
                make sure that your team's solution packet arrives at COMAP by this deadline.
           3. Use registered or express mail if necessary to insure that your solution arrives at COMAP by Friday
                February 23, 2007 .
           4. COMAP will not accept late solutions under any circumstances.
           5. If you require confirmation that your paper was received by COMAP, send the packet via a carrier
                that provides package tracking. Due to the number of papers received, COMAP can not answer
                receipt inquiries or emails.

After the contest is over:
       Confirm that your team's solution was received at COMAP:
       A few days after mailing your solution packet, you may login to the contest web site using the
       Advisor Login link to verify that your team's solution was received at COMAP. Please allow
       several days for us to process your packet before expecting to see this confirmation.
       Judging will be completed by March 31, 2007. The solutions will be recognized as Successful
       Participant,Honorable Mention, Meritorious, or Outstanding Winner.
       Check Results
       Return to the contest web site periodically to check for the results of the contest. It will take
       several weeks for the judges to evaluate the solutions and for COMAP to process the results.
       We will post the results on the web site as soon as they are available. Please do not call or email
       COMAP asking when the results will be available; simply visit the contest web site regularly to
       check for them.
       Receive certificate
       At some point after the results have been issued, each team that participated successfully will
       receive a certificate of participation in the mail. The certificate will be mailed to the advisor at
       the address used during the registration process. Please allow several weeks after the results
       are posted to the contest web site before expecting to receive your certificate.

            The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) will designate an
                Outstanding team from each of the three problems as an INFORMS winner
            The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) will designate one Outstanding team from
                each problem as a SIAM winner.
            The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) will designate one Outstanding team from each
                problem for the MCM as a MAA winner.

Note: COMAP is the final arbiter of all rules and policies, and may disqualify or refuse to register any
team that, in its sole discretion, does not follow these contest regulations and procedures.


To top