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Call for Workshop Session Leads and Team Advisors

Columbia Undergraduate Mathematical Modelling Workshop (CUMMW)

CUMMW is a four-week workshop offered to all Columbia undergraduate students who are interested in learning more about real world mathematical modelling. The workshop consists of a series of hands-on 90-minute seminars led by faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and takes place between January 9th – January 29th, 2021. During these sessions, participating students are introduced to a range of activities involved in pursuing scientific research, including project design, data analysis and interpretation, modelling and simulation, literature review, scientific writing, and interactive collaboration. The workshop also serves as preparation for undergraduate students interested in participating in the Mathematical/Interdisciplinary Contest in Modelling (MCM/ICM), taking place February 4-8, 2021.

The workshop’s overall goals are to provide undergraduate students at Columbia the opportunity to:

  • Gain exposure to the interdisciplinary skills required for modern research
  • Develop interpersonal skills through teamwork
  • Develop oral and written communication skills

Our aim is to attract a diverse participation from a variety of undergraduate students with different backgrounds and experiences, including non-mathematics majors and historically underrepresented groups.


We are looking for a diverse group of postdoctoral fellows and graduate students to act as workshop facilitators. We offer two tracks: session lead and team advisor. Interested applicants are welcome to register for either or both of the tracks.

  • Session Lead. Co-leading workshop sessions is also encouraged.
    As a session lead you will

    • Prepare a 15-20 minutes presentation that introduces participants to a topic relevant to mathematical modelling and simulation. A list of possible topics will be made available upon registration (see below a tentative list of topics).
    • Prepare a set of recommended references that help participants learn more about the topic on their own time. At least some of the references should be accessible to students without a solid background in advanced mathematics.
    • Prepare a set of sample modelling tasks that build on the basic topic/model just introduced. These can include a mix of simple applications that allow students to explore certain basic aspects of the topic and more complex problems, e.g., from past MCM/ICM competitions.
  • Team Advisor. Co-advising teams is also possible and encouraged.
    As a team advisor, you will be coaching a small number of teams during the workshop sessions (e.g., in breakout rooms) and be willing to meet with your teams outside the workshop scheduled times for questions and further advice. Team coaching should address the development of mathematical, computational and scientific writing skills. You should also be prepared to adapt your coaching to the level and needs of each team.

Registration form:

Registration open: December 1st – December 22nd, 2020

Organizational meeting: December 23rd, 2020

Meeting time and zoom link: TBA

For more information, please contact George Dragomir or Ivan Corwin.


End of call.


Tentative list of topics (not necessarily in this order, some topics overlap, and some topics could take more than one session to discuss):

  • Introduction to dynamical systems, differential equations-based models, discrete dynamical systems, numerical methods
  • Introduction to partial differential equations, numerical methods for partial differential equations
  • Introduction to probabilities, Markov chain-based models
  • Introduction to graph theory, graph-theoretic models
  • Introductory tools for data analysis, statistical models
  • Model analysis and evaluation
  • Programming basics, intro to Colab
  • Writing a scientific report, intro to LaTeX


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