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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 online, between January 4th, 2023 – February 1st, 2023. 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:

In these competitions, teams of three undergraduate students apply mathematics to model, develop, and communicate a solution to an open-ended, real world problem. Teams that complete the training session will be sponsored to participate in the 2023 MCM/ICM competition.

Workshop registration link: here.

Registration deadlines:

  • Thursday, December 29, 2022 at 5:00pm EST for training teams.
  • Wednesday, January 3rd, 2023 at 11:59pm EST for all other workshop participants.

Mentors will be assigned to training teams formed by December 29, 2022.

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 and resources that can help you 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 session in December will provide additional information about the workshop and the modeling competitions. More information on the MCM/ICM competition can be found here. We will organize an additional information session at the beginning of the workshop, in January 2023.
  8. When are the hands-on seminars scheduled?
    The seminars will be scheduled on Wednesdays evenings from January 4th to February 1st. The seminars will be held online, over Zoom. Additional training sessions will be organized by the program mentors. These can be either in-person or online.
  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.


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