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SIST Students Performed Well in 2017 American MCM/ICM Contest
Date: 2017/5/5             Browse: 920

The 2017 American Mathematical Contest in Modeling / Interdisciplinary Modeling Contest (MCM / ICM) results ( were released recently. Students from SIST, ShanghaiTech University, won one Meritorious Winner award and several Honorable Mention awards, and it was the second participation of ShanghaiTech in this competition. The team of Qiang Baiqiang, Wu Binghan and Jia Feiran, which is coached by Prof. Ziyu Shao won the Meritorious Winner. The competition attracted 16,928 teams, with a total of more than 50,000 students from different universities, such as the University of California at Berkeley, Cambridge University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiaotong University.


MCM / ICM is organized by COMAP (Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications) and sponsored by SIAM, NSA, INFORMS and other organizations. MCM/ICM is the world's most influential mathematical modeling contest, which involves Economic, Ecological, Environment and other aspects. The competition requires the team of three undergraduates to finish all of the following worksestablishing the model, solving and verifying the problem, and finish the paper in four days. They can use the materials from the library and the Internet and they can also program to solve the problem, while communication with other people (including the instructor) is prohibited. A total of six questions are set in the competition. Three questions are included in the MCMcontinuous, discrete, and data. The other three questions are in ICMthe operational research and network science, the environmental science, and the policy. The competition focuses on the originality of the problem solving, the teamwork and the rationality of the results. It requires not only a solid foundation of mathematics, computer and essay writing, but also higher requirements for their English writing skills.


Binghan Wu, the student who was the Meritorious Winner, said that his first reaction after reading the problem is to use cellular automata. This idea, using some random ideas to simulate complex problems, is taught by the Prof. Ziyu Shao in his Stochastic Process course, and it helped him to find the basic way of solving the problem instantly. Asking about the feelings after winning the M award, Feiran Jia said: "When I told my teammates that we won the M prize, they did not even know that the M prize is the first prize. We were all surprised. I have just completed the final homework at the night before the competition so we started the competition without adequate preparation. As we were not very familiar with the process of this competition, we made some mistakes at last, such as we forgot to submit the letter which should be added in answer sheet. We also found a lot of errors in Summary Sheet and thought that we might miss the award.”
For how to complete the model and a good answer, she believes that, the students in the class already have a relatively broad horizon. They already have some insights in different fields. Prof. Ziyu Shaos Computer Network class is from the perspective of mathematical modeling to analyze the network. In the process of describing the network to the students this class also improved students mathematical skills and modeling ideas. When she saw the topic game theory suddenly came to her mind. Trying to analyze the interaction of traffic in game theory is a relatively rare point of view. After searching for the existing research, they found that only a few of papers have discussed this method, and the result is not ideal. They they decide to explore this method and apply their thoughts in it. Since the teammates have good data analysis ability and active thoughts, they coupled with each other well, and ultimately get good results.


Unlike other universities, students of ShanghaiTech University accumulate their ability of mathematical modeling in their usual classes instead of target training. The variety of the courses brings our students knowledge of different areas. Solid tasks in class also enable students to learn and finish a new task in a short time. Students of our school also have a strong sense of cooperation because they have done numerous teamwork in class. The result of the competition shows the ability of students themselves.

                                                                                                                 Provided by Feiran Jia