Twenty-seven teams, made up of around 80 students from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, achieved a new level of success at the 2016 American Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) /Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM).

Seven teams were named meritorious winners, eight teams gained honorable mentions and 11 teams were named successful participants, a new record for the University in this contest.

A leading international contest in the field of mathematical modelling MCM/ICM this year attracted a record-breaking 12,466 teams from different countries, including the USA, China, Germany, UK, Canada, Indian, Ireland and Spain. The contest consisted of six problems: three problems from MCM and three from ICM.

MCM required primary mathematical modelling skills, computer skills, quick-learning and application skills, and writing capabilities. The problems were relevant to three mathematical models, namely, continuous model, discrete model and data science.

Different from MCM, the three ICM problems focused on network science, environmental science and policy. Students were required to work in group of three and complete topic selection, model building, analysis, testing and paper writing within four days. XJTLU students achieved great success in ICM with five meritorious winners and four honorable mentions.

At the MCM/ICM prize awarding ceremony, Dr Gang Liu (pictured below), acting head of Mathematical Sciences at XJTLU, said: “MCM/ICM is a platform for students to develop themselves. As an extracurricular activity, students voluntarily join this competition and learn different mathematical methods and skills in the preparation and competition process. The portion of awards this year is comparable with leading universities, especially given that the majority of participants were Year One and Year Two students.”

Shengjie Sun, a MCM/ICM first prize winner, shared his experience and advice with other students saying: “The first thing is to prepare well. It’s good to find teammates at an early stage and work with them to sensibly allocate and implement the tasks. In addition, the competitors need to prepare mentally and physically for the competition. Be confident and do not focus too much about the results - what’s more important is the process.”

MCM/ICM is co-sponsored by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Mathematics Associate of America, the Department of Defense Analysis, the Naval Postgraduate School and the Chinese Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

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