The Mathematical Contest in Modeling
at the University of Puget Sound

Given that the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) held its first competition in 1984, the University of Puget Sound has a "long" tradition of participation.

The Mathematical Contest in Modeling is an international competition sponsored by COMAP that asks teams of three undergraduates to spend a weekend modeling an applied mathematics problem. On a Thursday afternoon at 5 P.M. in February the teams receive short descriptions of two open-ended problems. Generally one has a continuous flavor (e.g. physics, differential equations) and the other has a discrete flavor (e.g. computer science, combinatorics). The teams choose one problem to work on, and may use any inanimate aids (books, computers, etc.). By Monday at 5 P.M., they are to have a complete report prepared and out in the mail.

It is amazing to see the effort expended and the results achieved by these teams in four days' time. In even numbered years, the contest is generally undertaken by members of the Mathematical Modeling class (Math/Csci 471), and in odd numbered years the teams are composed of members of Optimization class (Math/Csci 335). If you are a current UPS student majoring in mathematics or computer science (or one of the other sciences) and are interested in competing, please contact Professor Michael Casey.

Thanks to Kelly Cline for entering the problem statements from past years, and graciously allowing me to link into his page. Kelly also has boatloads of advice on how to approach the contest. If you wish to see some of the winning papers (there is really no such thing as a "solution") consult the Fall issue (no. 3) of each year's UMAP Journal - it is devoted entirely to a year's competition, complete with problem statements, winning papers and practitioners' commentaries.

And here's a record of our previous teams' efforts. The top three or four papers for each problem are designated "Outstanding", the next 15% or so are designated "Meritorious" and the remainder of the top 50% are designated "Honorable Mention." The "Successful Participant" designation is as the name implies. Faculty Advisers have been Professor Rob Beezer (1987-2000), Professor DeWayne Deerryberry (2001), Professor Michael Casey (2002-)


Year Standing Team Members Problem
2002 Honorable Mention Gus Terlaje Tim Terlaje Raina Mroczek Airline Overbooking
2002 Successful Participant Kamaria De Chabert Carla-Jean Fellezs Molly Schaub Airline Overbooking
2002 Successful Participant Buck Defore Christopher Caton Jason Legan Airline Overbooking
2001 Successful Participant Jesse Abdul Chris Akamine Micah Tanaka Hurricane Escape
2001 Successful Participant Phillip Barker Molly Schaub Tommy Wiley Hurricane Escape
2001 Successful Participant Anita Askman Todd Kopet Michael Thomas Bicycle Wheel
2000 Honorable Mention Bret Schnorenberg David Pendergrast Ryan Wells Radio Channel Assignment
2000 Successful Participant Jennifer Graham Michah Lenderman Amanda White Radio Channel Assignment
1999 Outstanding-INFORMS Dan Forrest Murray Johnson Garrett Aufdemberg Deep Impact
1999 Meritorious Melody Laycock Jon Panttaja David Pendergrast Deep Impact
1999 Honorable Mention Nick Michal Steve Swanson John Kenworthy Unlawful Assembly
1999 Successful Participant Cari MacKay Jessica Evans Jennifer Graham Deep Impact
1999 Unofficial Brent Martin Tommy Wiley Glen Meharg Deep Impact
1999 Unofficial Jessica Meyers John Kotje Nick Kirsch Unlawful Assembly
1998 Meritorious Melody Laycock Nick Michal Jon Panttaja MRI Scanners
1998 Meritorious Brian Fraker Dan Forrest Murray Johnson Grade Inflation
1998 Honorable Mention Vicki Crooks Lori Inman Nathalie Williams Grade Inflation
1998 Successful Participant Cari MacKay Will Smith Matt VanHorne Grade Inflation
1997 Meritorious Jonathan Buck Steve Hastings Matt Shupe Dinosaur Hunting
1997 Successful Participant Brad Johnson Kim Mathewson Micah Whitman Dinosaur Hunting
1997 Honorable Mention Nick Michal Jon Panttaja Steve Swanson Group Discussions
1997 Successful Participant Charles Aggenbach Jason Clark Erik Kramer Group Discussions
1997 Unofficial Dan Forrest Murray Johnson Gabe Newton Dinosaur Hunting
1996 Honorable Mention Alison Moser Shannon O'Leary Matt Shupe Submarine Tracking
1996 Honorable Mention Steve Hastings Anne Hiigel Ryan Troy Paper Judging
1996 Honorable Mention Eric Cook Jennifer Hunter Anton Kramer Paper Judging
1995 Honorable Mention Eric Cook Gretchen Harriman Adrienne Sarmiento Faculty Compensation
1995 Successful Participant Arden Ewin David Neel Donna Baldwin Faculty Compensation
1994 Meritorious Eric Anderson Ted Day Tim Schaub Network Design
1994 Meritorious Tanya Miller Christine Steele Brent Steiner Network Design
1993 Honorable Mention Todd Ellebracht Ross Larsen Greg Luethe  
1993 Honorable Mention Ted Day Mark DosRemedios Sean Murray Coal-Tipple Operations
1992 Meritorious Julie Lindemann Sean Murray Mark DosRemedios Power Restoration
1992 Honorable Mention Steve Hackstadt John Hasegawa Devon McNare Power Restoration
1987 Honorable Mention Chris Pirih Joe Strand Mike Williamson Parking Lot Layout


Rob Beezer,, Updated: May 9, 2002; Created: May 8, 1996