HiMCM preparatory workshops

The UNC-Chapel Hill math department and Chapel Hill Math Circle are hosting preparatory workshops for the 2020 High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM). These virtual workshops begin at 5pm every Wednesday, starting August 26th, and cover a variety of mathematical, programming, and writing skills to help teams prepare; see the schedule below. Information for signing-up and joining the Zoom meeting will be sent out closer to the start of the workshop series.

Interested in the competition? Not sure if these workshops are for you? (They are.) Join us on August 26th for an overview of what HiMCM is all about, and what you can expect from the workshops. Also see the announcement that was sent to high schools below. The workshops will be run by a variety of current UNC-CH math graduate students.

Topics schedule:

August 26Overview of the sessions
September 2Math modeling overview
September 9Intro to Python
September 16Data analysis in Excel and Python
September 23Difference equations/ODEs
September 30Sensitivity analysis
October 7Agent-based models
October 14Discrete models
October 21Regression
October 228Writing the report + using LaTeX

Workshop announcement:

Have you ever wondered where and how math is used in the “real world?” Every day engineers, scientists, programmers, managers, and more design solutions to complex problems using mathematical modeling techniques and principles. HiMCM is a chance to explore practical and relevant questions like “can roads be designed to reduce road rage?” (2015), “where are the optimal locations for ambulance dispatches so that the most number of people are served in the least amount of time?” (2013), “how do infectious diseases spread and what are the most effective containment mechanisms?” (2014). 

In this competition, you will work with a team of 1-2 others over two weeks to propose solutions to problems like these. The best teams have members with different skill sets that extend beyond being “good at math”- you and your team will need to be able to plan and organize a research strategy, design and test your proposed solution(s), illustrate your findings with informative figures, and synthesize your findings in a clear and convincing written report.

This year, the UNC-CH Math Department is offering weekly workshops starting August 26th to help prepare teams for the competition; this year’s competition starts November 4th and ends November 17th. Teams will be introduced to modeling techniques, programming basics, problem solving strategies, and review and discuss past winning models.

In addition to having a marketable project experience from a well known international competition, teams can expect to sharpen their critical thinking skills, learn transferable technical skills, and practice effective oral and written communication.