Cornell Mathematical Contest in Modeling



Get a glimpse of what Applied Mathematicians might do outside of Academia!

Short summary: CMCM is an annual university-wide competition for undergraduates (from freshmen to seniors). It attracts students from many majors/departments. Each team of 3 undergaduates works on an open-ended ("real-world") problem, builds a mathematical model, obtains a solution based on it, and writes a detailed paper (proving the feasibility of the team's model and solution) - all this in the space of less than 4 days!
You can: brainstorm with your two teammates, use any reference materials either printed or on the web, write your own software or utilize publicly available to validate your model.
You cannot: consult with anyone besides your teammates, submit your solutions after the deadline, or remain bored in the process.


CMCM is usually conducted in November -- the exact schedule for the current year is posted below. Two to four winning teams are then selected to represent Cornell at the international MCM -- an annual contest conducted in January/February and attracting 7000+ teams from 17+ countries.

Reasons to participate in CMCM:

CMCM is co-sponsored by the Department of Mathematics, ORIE, and Cornell Campus Store.


For those interested:

The registration/participation instructions will be posted here in early October. For now, please make sure to subscribe to our mailing list.

To subscribe to our mailing list: please send an email to join-cmcm-l@list.cornell.edu

Practice sessions (listed below) are very useful -- particularly if this is your first time in CMCM -- please consider attending! If you don't have a full team yet, practice sessions are also a good place to find potential team-mates.


Time-line for 2017-18:

Oct 26, 2017: Information/training session; 4:30-6:00pm, 251 Malott Hall.
Nov 2, 2017: Information/training session; 4:30-6:00pm, 251 Malott Hall.
Nov 10, 2017: Cornell MCM starts at 5pm. (The assignment will be posted here.)
Nov 13, 2017: Cornell MCM ends at 9:30am.
Feb 8-12, 2018: The winners of CMCM 2017 represent Cornell at the international MCM 2018.



Modeling problems are selected from all fields of science, engineering, and industry.

A quick note to visitors from outside Cornell University.

The full list of problems used in CMCM:

2016-17 Mosquito Bites. (student solutions & judges' comments -- for Cornell use only!)
2015-16 Red Sun in the Morning. (student solutions & judges' comments -- for Cornell use only!)
2014-15 Warmer Days or Sour Grapes ? (student solutions & judges' comments -- for Cornell use only!)
2013-14 All hail a cab! (student solutions & judges' comments -- for Cornell use only!)
2012-13 Hurricane preparedness. (student solutions & judges' comments -- for Cornell use only!)
2011-12 A drive-through campus. (student solutions & judges' comments -- for Cornell use only!)
2010-11 Big Brother Is Watching You! (student solutions are not available online)
2009-10 Ashes to ashes. (student solutions are not available online)
2008-09 Saving the Grass - One Walkway at a Time. (student solutions are not available online)
2007-08 On Many Paths Toward Diversity. (student solutions are not available online)
2006-07 Groundwater Contamination. (student solutions are not available online)
2005-06 Preventing An Avian Flu Pandemic. (student solutions are not available online)
2004-05 Budgeting Presidential Elections. (student solutions are not available online)
2003-04 Museum Security.
Going negative.
(student solutions are not available online)
2002-03 Making a map.
Interpreting Graph-like Artifacts.
(student solutions are not available online)


A few representative problems from the international MCM:

Things to consider about the international contest:

Interested, puzzled, or simply curious?

Send your questions to Alex Townsend (townsend@cornell.edu), Alex Vladimirsky (vlad@math.cornell.edu), and/or attend a practice session.


Relevant Links:

Organized by:
Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP).
Sponsored by:
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS),
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM),
Mathematical Association of America (MAA).

Some other MCM pages :
Kelly Cline's Guide to MCM,
Another Guide to MCM from a former University of Colorado at Boulder team,
University of Puget Sound,
University of Washington,
University of Maryland,
Eastern Oregon University,
Grinnell College.