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Columbia Undergraduate Mathematical Modelling Workshop (January)

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 seminars led by faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and takes place between January 9th – January 29th, 2021. Participating students are gradually introduced to the full 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 students interested in participating in the Mathematical/Interdisciplinary Contest in Modelling (MCM/ICM), an annual international competition where teams of up to three undergraduate students or high school students work together to produce a paper on a real world open-ended problem. Teams of three students that complete the workshop will be sponsored to register for the MCM/ICM competition 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

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

Zoom info session: Wednesday, December 16th, 3:30-4:30 PM (EST)

Workshop registration link:

Registration open:

  • December 1st, 2020 – January 6th, 2021.


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!
  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!
  4. I don’t know any programming. Is that okay?
    Yes, that is completely fine.
  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 advisor, 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 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 mid-December will provide additional information on the workshop and the competition. More information about the workshop can also be found on the workshop’s Campuswire group (registration required). More information on the MCM/ICM competition can be found here.
  8. When are the hands-on seminars scheduled?
    The seminars will be scheduled once or twice a week from January 9th to January 29th – the exact meeting times and Zoom links will be made available on the workshop’s Campuswire group (registration required).
  9. Do I need to form a team to participate in the workshop/competition?
    Yes, you will have to form a team of three. If you do not currently have a team, you are encouraged to attend the workshop to try 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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