While it is hard for me to believe, the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) is fast approaching its 30th year.  During this time we have grown from 90 US teams to over 5,000 teams representing 25 countries from all across the globe.  We have been especially buoyed by the enthusiasm shown by our Chinese colleagues and the rapid growth in Chinese participation.  COMAP welcomes your involvement with open arms.

COMAP runs three contests in mathematical modeling; they are MCM, ICM (the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling), and HiMCM (the High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling). The purpose of all of these contests has never been simply to reward student efforts – as important as that is.  Rather, our objective from the beginning has been to increase the presence of applied mathematics and modeling in education systems at all levels worldwide.  Modeling is an attempt to learn how the world works and the use of mathematics can help us produce better models. This is not a job for one country, but for all.  The COMAP modeling contests were conceived and evolved to be strong instruments to help achieve this much larger goal.

It is my supreme hope that through this excellent book series the Chinese students will learn more about COMAP contests and more about the process of mathematical modeling.  I hope that you will begin to work on the exciting and important problems you see here, and that you will join the MCM/ICM contests and the rewarding work of increasing the awareness of the importance of mathematical modeling.


November, 2012