Student competitions sponsored by the MCS Department, 2017 - Spring 2020

Contact Information:

Profs. Bruce Pell (bpell@ltu)

Ruth Favro (rfavro@ltu.edu)


Fall semester contests

Michigan Autumn Take Home Challenge (MATH Challenge)

Student Registration: October 28 2020

Date: November 7 2020, 9:30am - 12:30 pm

Teams of 2 or 3 students have 3 hours to solve 10 math problems with proof, covering different parts of the undergraduate math curriculum. Originating in Michigan, it is aimed at students from small colleges. It is based on the LMMC (see below), but taken on teams’ home campus, so no travel is required.

  • 2017: Eight teams, 22 students
    • Top team in 4th place out of 73 teams
  • 2018: Seven teams, 19 students
    • Top team in 14th place out of 64 teams
  • 2019: Five teams, 15 students
    • Top team in 14th place out of 54 teams

SCUDEM

Student Registration: October 23

Date: October 23 - November 14 2020

Teams of 2-3 students have a week to model and solve a problem involving differential equations. At the end of the week they give a presentation of their results to faculty judges. Before the presentation they must consider an extension of their problem to add to their results.

  • 2018: Four teams, 11 students
  • 2019: One team, 3 students (second team dropped out at the last minute)

Putnam Exam

Postponed until February 20, 2021

A prestigious math contest for students in the USA and Canada, consisting of 12 questions: 6 questions over 3 hours in the morning, and 6 questions over 3 hours in the afternoon. The questions range over the undergraduate curriculum, often emphasizing the upper level. Clear proof is expected. Over 4,000 students currently take the exam.  Median score often 0 – 2.

  • 2017: 13 students competed
  • 2018: Six students competed
  • 2019: Four students competed; 2 with nonzero scores


Spring semester contests

MCM (Mathematical Contest in Modeling) and ICM (Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling)

Date: February 4-8, 2021

A four-day international contest for teams of 2-3 students each, held in late January or early February.  Teams choose one of 6 problem types: continuous math, discrete math, data science (MCM) or operations research/networks, environmental science, public policy (ICM). Teams have 4 days to research and create a model, find solutions, and write a research paper, according to a set format. Clear and concise technical writing is important. Problems are often very current, such as developing a plan to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, single-use and disposable plastic product waste, or examining the future power requirements of electric devices and cars.  Papers are judged in categories: Successful Participant, Honorable Mention, Meritorious, Finalist and Outstanding.  

In 2001 an LTU team was rated outstanding, and we have had many teams rated Meritorious or Finalist.
  • 2016: Three teams, 9 students
    • One student entered in the Media Contest 
    • 1-Outstanding, 1-Honorable Mention, 1-Successful Participant
    • Media contest – Finalist
  • 2017: Four teams, 12 students
    • 1-Honorable Mention, 3-Successful Participant
  • 2018: Four teams, 11 students
    • 4- Successful Participant
  • 2019: Four teams, 12 students
    • 1-Honorable Mention, 3-Successful Participant
  • 2020: Two teams, 6 students (one team dropped out mid-contest)
    • 2-Succesful Participant 

Lower Michigan Math Competition (LMMC)

Date: Mid-April

Teams of 2 or 3 students have 3 hours to solve 10 math problems with proof, covering different parts of the undergraduate math curriculum. It is open to students from Michigan small colleges. All teams meet at a host institution. Old problems, solutions, and other information can be found here.

  • 2017: Two teams, 5 students
    • Top team in 2nd place out of 24 teams
  • 2018: Two teams, 6 students
    • Top team in 2nd place out of 26 teams
  • 2019: Two teams, 6 students
    • Top team in 1st place as high scorer out of 21 teams!!
  • 2020:  Held online due to Covid-19
    • Two teams, 6 students
    • Top team in 3rd place out of 8 teams