Two CU student teams among top winners in international math modeling competition


Two University of Colorado Boulder undergraduate student teams have been named among the 10 top winners from a field of 3,697 teams that entered the international Mathematical Contest in Modeling.

Results of the 2012 contest were announced this month by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications. The contest took place at the students’ home institutions Feb. 9-13.

One of the two CU-Boulder teams designated as an “outstanding winner” was comprised of students Stephen Kissler of applied mathematics, Christopher Corey of electrical and computer engineering and Sean Wiese of computer science. This team also was awarded the MAA Award sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America.

The other “outstanding winner” from CU-Boulder was made up of students Christopher Aicher and Tracy Babb of applied mathematics, and Daniel Sutton of computer science. This team also was awarded the INFORMS Award sponsored by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Anne Dougherty of CU-Boulder’s Department of Applied Mathematics served as faculty adviser to both teams.

According to the contest rules, the students had 96 hours to decide which of two problems to complete, research their problem, come up with a mathematical model, program a numerical model, and write a report.  Both CU-Boulder teams chose to solve a problem related to scheduling camping for a series of rafters on a long river.

“It is amazing what they can come up with in just 96 hours,” Dougherty said, noting that all six of the winning students are in the Engineering Honors Program.

“CU has had remarkable success over the years in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling,” she added.  “Since 2000, we’ve had a total of 11 “outstanding” papers.   I don’t know of any other universities with this type of track record.  It is a testament to the quality of our students and the strength of CU’s programs that we’ve been so successful for so long.”

Only 9 percent of the teams entering the contest this year were from the United States. The others were from Canada, China, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, Malaysia, Palestine, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Official results are posted at

Anne Dougherty, 303-492-4011
Carol Rowe, 303-492-7426