Columbia Home
Columbia Undergraduate Mathematical Modelling Workshop

Columbia Undergraduate Mathematical Modeling Workshop (CUMMW)

CUMMW is a workshop offered to Columbia undergraduate students interested in learning more about real world mathematical modeling. The workshop consists of a series of hands-on seminars led by faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and takes place between November 19, 2021 – February 11, 2022. Participating students are gradually introduced to the full range of activities involved in pursuing scientific research, including project design, data analysis and interpretation, modeling and simulation, literature review, scientific writing, and interactive collaboration.

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

Students of all majors and levels of mathematical background are invited to participate.

The workshop also serves as preparation for students interested in participating in either one of the following modeling competitions:

  • Columbia Mathematical Modeling Contest (CMMC), an annual university-wide competition for Columbia undergraduate students, which takes place January 20-24, 2022.
  • Mathematical/Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (MCM/ICM), an annual international competition, which takes place February 17-21, 2022.

In these competitions, teams of three undergraduate students apply mathematics to model, develop, and communicate a solution to an open-ended, real world problem.

There will be two training sessions during the workshop: the first one in December 2021, and the second one in January 2022.

  • For the December 2021 training session, teams of three must be formed by Saturday, November 27.
  • For the January 2022 training session, teams of three must be formed by Wednesday, December 29.

Teams that complete a training session will have the option of being sponsored to participate in the 2022 MCM/ICM competition.

Workshop registration link:

Registration open:

  • November 2021 – January 2022

Workshop page:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I haven’t taken a lot of math/computing courses. Can I participate in the workshop and competition?
    Yes, you can! We will offer introductory sessions in mathematical and statistical modeling.
  2. Is there any prerequisite for participating?
    No, there are no prerequisites.
  3. I’m not a math major. Can I participate?
    Yes, you can! The nature of the research undertaken in this program is interdisciplinary — non-math majors are very welcome!
  4. I don’t know any programming. Is that okay?
    Yes, that is completely fine. We will offer tutorials where you can familiarize yourself with the basics of programming.
  5. What happens during the workshop sessions? Will we be learning about new mathematical models?
    The workshop sessions are hands-on and focus on introducing you to the mathematical modeling process through working in groups on sample modeling tasks. In each session, you will be introduced to the basics of a new topic or mathematical model and then, under the guidance of your mentor, you and your team will work on sample questions using this basic model. You will also be provided with further references to learn about the model more deeply in your own time. The workshop sessions will also introduce you to computation and simulation tools, as well as to scientific writing practices.
  6. Do I have to participate in the workshop in order to participate in MCM/ICM competition?
    No, you do not have to. You can participate in the workshop as frequently as you like or not at all. However, only the teams that participate and complete the training within the workshop will be sponsored for the MCM/ICM competition.
  7. Where can I find more info about the workshop/competition?
    The Zoom info sessions in mid-November will provide additional information on the workshop and the competition. More information about the workshop can also be found on the workshop’s CourseWorks page. More information on the MCM/ICM competition can be found here. We will organize an additional information session at the beginning of January 2022.
  8. When are the hands-on seminars scheduled?
    The seminars will be scheduled once or twice a week from November 19th to January 11th – the exact meeting times and Zoom links will be made available on the workshop’s CourseWorks page.
  9. Do I need to form a team to participate in the workshop/competition?
    You don’t need to part of a team to participate in the workshop, but you will have to form a team of three to participate in the MCM/ICM competition. If you do not currently have a team, you are encouraged to attend the workshop training sessions to meet potential teammates.
  10. How and when do I sign up for the competition?
    Please see Contest Rules, Registration and Instructions. We will be registering the teams that successfully complete the workshop.

Other Questions?

Please contact George Dragomir or Ivan Corwin.


Print this page