The Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM)®
The Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM)®

February 1-5, 2024

Click here to view the 2024 MCM/ICM problems

The Challenge

COMAP's Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) and Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM) are international contests for high school students and college undergraduates. The contests challenge teams of up to three students to analyze, model, solve, and present solution reports to an open-ended application problem. In these contests research, analytics, and applied intelligence are just as important as time management and problem selection. Are you and your team up to it?

Contest teams of up to three students address one of the following six problem choices over the period of the contest weekend.

MCM Problem A (continuous)
MCM Problem B (discrete)
MCM Problem C (data insights)
ICM Problem D (operations research/network science)
ICM Problem E (sustainability)
ICM Problem F (policy)

What's in it for you?

The contests provide a challenge to solve a real-world application problem, and get recognition for it on an international stage. It's an excellent opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills through teamwork, develop technical writing and communication skills through your written report, feel a sense of accomplishment, and earn an impressive resume credential. Students and advisors report that participation and success in MCM/ICM provides an advantage when applying for internships and jobs.

What's in it for your school?

Schools enjoy the recognition and prestige of being part of COMAP's annual international modeling contest event. COMAP published a press release of the annual contest results that lists advisors, schools, school locations, and awards. Contest participation indicates the school's support of students' meaningful application of topics studied in the classroom in preparation for addressing a variety of problems in the real-world. The contest can provide impetus and justification for developing more applied courses and for integrating modeling into current courses.

And there's MORE!

MCM/ICM offer your team and school the chance to win prizes. The International COMAP Scholarship Award will be awarded to the four(4) top MCM/ICM teams from any of the participating countries; $9000 being split among the team members and $1000 to the school represented. Awards will be announced on or before April 30th each year.

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The International COMAP Scholarship Award will be awarded to the one (1) top MCM/ICM team from any of the participating teams; $9000 being split among the team members and $1000 to the school represented.

After the results are issued, each successfully participating team advisor and student will receive a certificate of participation. You may login to the contest web site using the Advisor Login link to view and print your team's certificates. Click here to download MCM/ICM certificates.

  • MCM Awards
  • (Problem A, B and C)
  • The Ben Fusaro Award will be accorded to an especially creative paper and will be chosen from the contest finalists.
  • The Frank R. Giordano Award began in 2012. It honors Brig. Gen. (ret) Frank Giordano who directed the MCM for 20 years. This award goes to a paper that demonstrates true excellence in the execution of the modeling process.
  • ICM Awards
  • (Problem D, E and F)
  • The Leonhard Euler Award is presented to a team selected by the head judge of the ICM's Problem D. The criteria are: 1) a paper in the Meritorious/Finalist/Outstanding rating; 2) contains especially creative and innovative modeling; and 3) shows good understanding of interdisciplinary science. The award honors the name of a 18th-century Swiss applied mathematician, who was known for the breadth of his research applications, volume of written work, excellent teaching, and interdisciplinarity.
  • The Rachel Carson Award honors an American conservationist whose book "Silent Spring" initiated the global environmental movement and whose work spanned many disciplines concerned with the local and global environments. This award is presented to a team selected by the Head Judge of ICM Problem E for excellence in using scientific theory and data in its modeling.
  • Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian scholar, modeler and problem solver, who at various times was an engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist, mathematician, and philosopher. He lived and worked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The ICM Pareto Award for outstanding modeling in the Policy Modeling problem (ICM Problem F) honors the work and legacy of this famous social science problem solver. In particular for this award, the head judge seeks to highlight a paper that best models the more dynamic and challenging contextual human elements that make simplification or refinement of policy models so difficult.

The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) is the largest society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research (OR), management science (MS), and analytics. INFORMS has long recognized the importance of involving undergraduate students and faculty in an unscripted process of mathematical modeling whose problems contain many of the modern elements seen by its membership. The MCM/ICM exemplifies these characteristics. Consequently, INFORMS has been an active supporter of the MCM/ICM since its inception.

INFORMS carefully selects and designates a single Outstanding team from each of the six problems - A, B, C, D, E, F - as an INFORMS Outstanding winning team whose modeling and analyses best exemplify the style and content reflected in its membership's professional practice. Each student receives a letter of congratulations from the current INFORMS President and a complimentary one-year INFORMS student membership. Each associated faculty advisor receives a letter of congratulations and appreciation from the current INFORMS President, along with complimentary one-year access to the full suite of award-winning INFORMS journals.

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) will designate six teams, one each for problems A, B, C, D, E, and F from the MCM/ICM as an SIAM winner.


The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) will designate up to six teams, at most one each for problems A, B, C, D, E, and F from the MCM/ICM as an MAA winner.


The American Statistical Association (ASA) will designate one Outstanding team from MCM Problem C as a ASA winner.


The American Mathematical Society (AMS) will designate six teams, one each for problems A, B, C, D, E, and F from the MCM/ICM as an AMS winner.