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

MCM 2001 Winners and Results

COMAP is pleased to announce the results of the 17th Annual Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM)). This year, 496 teams representing 238 institutions from 11 countries participated in the contest.

Download a complete results report in portable document format (pdf).


Problem A

         U.S. Military Academy (NY)

         University Cork College (Ireland)

         Stellenbosch University (South Africa)

Problem B

         Duke University (NC)

         Governor’s School (VA)

         Wake Forest University (NC)

         Harvey Mudd College (CA)

         Lawrence Technological University (MI)

         Bethel College (MN)

The 2001 MCM began at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, February 9 and officially ended at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, February 12, 2001. During that time, teams of up to three undergraduates were to research and submit an optimal solution for one of two open-ended modeling problems.  The 2001 MCM marked the inaugural year for the new online contest, and it was a great success.  Students were able to effectively register, obtain contest materials, download the problems at the appropriate time, and enter data all through COMAP’S MCM website.  This new online contest procedure is age and economically appropriate, and encourages a more efficient MCM for the future.

This year’s Problem A was about bicycle wheels and what edge they may give to a race. Before any contest, professional cyclists make educated guesses about which one of two basic types of wheels to choose for any given competition.  The team’s Sports Director has asked them to come up with a better system to help determine which kind of wheel – wire spoke or solid disk – should be used for any given race course.

Problem B addressed the evacuation of Charleston, South Carolina during 1999’s Hurricane Floyd.  Maps, population data, and other specific details were given to the teams.  They were tasked with constructing a model to investigate potential strategies.  In addition, they were asked to submit a news article that would be used to explain their plan to the public.

2001 MCM Statistics

768 teams registered  and 496 participated (65%)

264 U.S. Teams (53%) from 163 institutions

 232 Foreign Teams (47%) from  Australia, Canada, England, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Lithuania, P.R. China, Singapore and South Africa

215 Problem A entries (43%)

281 Problem B entries (57%)

9 Outstanding Winners (2%) - 3 A, 6 B

70 Meritorious Winners (14%) - 27 A, 43 B

123 Honorable Mentions (25%) - 58 A, 65 B

294 Successful Participants (59%) - 127 A, 167 B

485 four-year institutions (98%)

5 two-year institutions (1%)

6 high schools (1%)

In additional to MCM, COMAP also sponsors the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM), which runs concurrently with MCM.  This contest offers a modeling problem involving concepts in mathematics, environmental science, environmental engineering, and/or resource management. Results of this year’s ICM can be found on COMAP’s website at

To obtain additional information about the MCM and to obtain a complete listing of all team designations, please visit the MCM web site at:,

Major funding for the MCM is provided by a grant from the National Security Agency and COMAP. Additional support is provided by The

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). COMAP's Mathematical Contest in Modeling is unique among modeling competitions in that it is the only international contest in which students work in teams to find a solution. Centering its educational philosophy on mathematical modeling, COMAP uses mathematical tools to explore real-world problems. It serves the educational community as well as the world of work by preparing students to become better informed—and prepared—citizens.

Contest Director                                                                                          

Frank R. Giordano, COMAP, Inc., MA

Executive Director

        Solomon A. Garfunkel, COMAP, Inc., MA

Founding Director

Bernard Fusaro, Florida State University, FL

Associate Directors

Bob Borrelli, Harvey Mudd College, CA                                               

William Fox, Francis Marion University, SC

Michael Moody, Harvey Mudd College, CA

Advisory Board

Courtney Coleman, Harvey Mudd College, CA

Bernard Fusaro, Florida State University, FL

Marvin S. Keener, Oklahoma State University, OK

Veena Mendiratta, AT&T Bell Labs, Lucent Technology, IL

Keith Miller, National Security Agency, MD

John S. Robertson, Georgia College, GA

Leon H. Seitelman, Pratt & Whitney, CT

Maynard Thompson, Indiana University, IN

Marie Vanisko, Carroll College, MT