The International Mathematical Modeling Challenge


The International Mathematical Modeling Challenge (IMMC or styled as IM2C) is an innovative contest in mathematical modeling for secondary school students all over the world. It was co-founded and co-sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP), US, and NeoUnion ESC Organisation (NeoUnion), Hong Kong in 2014 in Boston. In the first IM2C in 2015, there were 10 countries/areas participating in the International Competition and 60 teams from Mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan took part in the Regional Competition in Greater China. There were 30 countries/regions participating in the 6th IM2C in 2020, among which 650 teams were from Greater China.

The aim of IM2C is to promote mathematical modeling education and enhance students’ core competencies in mathematics and innovation, encouraging participants to explore the application of mathematical modeling in real life situations to solve problems of importance. IM2C in Greater China is an inclusive and sharing platform both for secondary school students to practice mathematical modeling, and for schools to demonstrate and exchange their educational accomplishments in mathematics and STEM. Through the competition, extended teaching and learning activities, joint school activities, and Advanced Innovation Program (AIP) platform, IM2C facilitates students to learn about the relevance of mathematical modeling to their current and future studies, career development, and innovative entrepreneurship.

During the past six years, most of the IM2C awardees selected fields of STEM such as mathematics, computer science, physics, medicine, chemistry, life science, etc for academic pursuit, for further studies. Thanks to over 40% of female participation, IM2C is proud in involving great many female students in STEM and showcasing their talents.

With the implementation of Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong will play an active role as the international hub of science and innovation within the Area, which will provide more opportunities for IM2C students and teachers. Hong Kong’s advantages in higher education, financial infrastructure, legal system, economic freedom and home to international talents will inspire more and more IM2C students to be engaged in international exchange in science and innovation.

About the Competition

Participating teams for IM2C in Greater China are required to choose: 1) to work on Committee-set problem of IM2C Regional Competition in Greater China in November for the Autumn Contest or January for the Winter Contest. The teams must submit a solution paper of mathematical modeling within the designated consecutive 96 hours; 2) alternatively, to register for freely-chosen problem, ie, to choose a problem set by team members themselves. The problem must be a real-world problem discovered and identified by the team. Solution papers of the two categories will be judged separately.

Based on the paper reviewed by the Expert Panel and through tracks of Committee-set problem and/or freely-chosen problem of IM2C in Greater China, 25 finalists out of all the registered teams are selected to enter into the IM2C Regional Final Presentation Competitions in Greater China to compete for the Outstanding Awards.

Teams with papers judged as the top 20% of the two categories of papers respectively will automatically proceed to the IM2C International Competition in Greater China which will usually be held in March every year. Within a designated consecutive 120 hours, teams have to submit solution papers on the problem set by the International Expert Panel. Another 25 teams will be qualified for IM2C International Final Presentation Competition in Greater China. The best two teams of International Competition from each area of Greater China will be recommended by the IM2C Committee (Zhonghua), together with the best teams from over 30 registered countries or areas, to compete for the International Awards. The result of the International Awards is usually announced in June yearly.

The 6th Annual International Mathematical Modeling Challenge 2020

The co-founder of IM2C, NeoUnion worked with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-China) and Hong Kong Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (HKSIAM) to co-organise the 6th Annual International Mathematical Modeling Challenge (IM2C 2020) in Greater China. The Problem Setting Committee and the Judging Panel consist of experts and professors from IM2C Committee (Zhonghua), IEEE-China and HKSIAM whose disciplines cover mathematics, life science, technology, engineering and social science. Prof Yang WANG, a member of IM2C International Expert Panel, and Dean and Chair Professor of School of Science at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology serves as Chairman of the Problem Setting Committee and Grand Jury of the Final Presentation Competition of IM2C 2020 in Greater China. IM2C 2020 Final Presentation Organising Committee was chaired by Prof Raymond Hon Fu CHAN, Dean and Chair Professor of College of Science at City University of Hong Kong.

IM2C 2020 in Greater China, functioning as a selection mechanism for IM2C International Competition, is an interdisciplinary practice integrating mathematics with science, technology and engineering as well as applying mathematics in socioeconomic context, including AI and machine learning, and encouraging students to identify, analyse and solve real world problems of importance. The Committee-set problems of IM2C 2020 in Greater China cover different types of issues including Smart Water Data Analysis, Credibility in Online News, Grid Frequency Response, Cyber Insurance Incentive Strategy, and the international problem, Flash Sale. The best submissions this year encompassed the above topics as well as freely-chosen problem.

The annual highlight event, IM2C 2020 Final Presentation Competition in Greater China, was conducted online on 8-9 May 2020. It was hosted by College of Science, City University of Hong Kong with supports from other top universities, leading technology companies and international scientific as well as professional organisations and participation from schools across Greater China. The opening ceremony was hosted by Prof Raymond CHAN with the presence of Guests of Honour Mrs DO PANG Wai Yee, Secretary-General of the Council of the Hong Kong Laureate Forum, and Dr James LEI, Senior Director of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data of Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI). Mr Steven DENG, representative of IEEE-China and Dr Zhonghua QIAO, Secretary-General of HKSIAM and other distinguished guests participated in the event.

Here are the highlights of the Opening Remarks by Prof Raymond CHAN and Dr James LEI in the Opening Ceremony.

Prof Raymond CHAN:
“The world is getting more quantitative and data driven. The society will depend more and more on mathematical modeling……Therefore, the knowledge of mathematical modeling that you have gained from this competition will be beneficial to your future study and career.”

Dr James LEI:
“Mathematics gives you fundamental ability and logical thinking in efficiency; mathematical modeling provides effective tools in applying such ability and thinking into solving complex problems through mathematising and abstracting the core of the problem.”

Out of the over 650 teams from Greater China, the top 50 presented their solution papers to the Regional and International Committees, as well as self-chosen topics to the Grand Jury during the two-day event through online platform. Together with teams endeavouring through several rounds of contests and conquering the hardship of COVID-19 pandemic, eight teams from the Greater China namely, Beijing Academy (Mainland), Deqing Senior High School (Mainland), High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China (Mainland), Shanghai Experimental School (Mainland), Diocesan Girls’ School (Hong Kong), Pui Kiu College (Hong Kong), Sacred Heart Canossian College (Macau) and Taipei Municipal Yongchun High School (Taiwan) are awarded as Outstanding for the International Competition in Greater China; 16 teams (2% of total participants) are awarded as Outstanding for the Regional Competition in Greater China.

The best two teams of International Competition from each area in Greater China, eight papers in total, will be recommended by the IM2C Committee (Zhonghua) for the Final Judgement by the International Expert Panel to compete for the International Awards, which will be held in June 2020, together with the best teams from other 33 registered countries or areas.

Do you want to see more mathematical modeling in real life situation? Click here to find out how it was playing its role during early stage of COVID-19 epidemic.

Acknowledgement: International Mathematical Modeling Challenge Committee (Zhonghua) and NeoUnion ESC Organisation Ltd

May 2020