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MIT's First Mathematical Contest in Modeling

This year, MIT held its first annual local Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) competition. The MCM is an intense four day challenge where teams of three undergraduate tackle an open ended question using any mathematical techniques they choose. Besides competing in the global MCM, each MIT team is considered for a local MIT prize. In order to do well, teams must be innovative, practical, and able to document their findings in a clear report. Teams have the option between a continuous and a discrete problem.

This year's problems can be found here http://www.comap.com/undergraduate/contests/mcm/contests/2012/problems/. The local MIT winners were chosen (by a blinded group of judges) as the team with the best submission to the global MCM competition.

This year's MIT winners were Josh Alman, Damien Jiang, and Vlad Firoiu. A cash prize was also awarded beyond the recognition. Below is a brief of biography of the team members.

Josh Alman, class of 2014, is a student in Course 18. He is currently a Software Engineering Intern at a startup called Addepar in Mountain View this summer. Last summer he worked on a UROP in Algebraic Combinatorics with Prof. Lionel Levine. In his free time, he is the president of the Undergraduate Math Association and of the Quizbowl Club. He also enjoys lots of board and video games.

Damien Jiang, class of 2014, is a student in Course 18. He is currently a Software Engineering Intern at a startup called Securigin Inc. in Cambridge this summer. Last summer he worked as a teaching assistant at the Research Science Institute and at the AwesomeMath Summer Program. He has worked on a linguistics UROP with graduate student Peter Graff as well as a UROP in algebraic combinatorics with Prof. Lionel Levine. He is the captain of Art of Problem Solving's Cambridge grading team, and is a hall chair for Third West in East Campus. He enjoys singing, ping-pong, frisbee, and video games.

Vlad Firoiu, class of 2014, is a student in Course 18. He is currently working on a UROP with Professor David Vogan that began last summer in the field of representation theory and algebraic combinatorics. He was on MIT's Putnam team this year and placed among the top 25 individually. He is also on the MIT men's varsity tennis team. In his free time he enjoys reading, (table) tennis, programming, and gaming.

The competition was co-sponsored by the Operations Research Center and the Department of Mathematics. The organizers were Adam Elmachtoub and Professor Martin Bazant.

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