Skip to main content

Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications

The Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling: Culturing Interdisciplinary Problem Solving (Print)

"There is nowadays a great deal of interest and excitement in the teaching of modeling in elementary and secondary school. Teachers, parents, relatives, and students are wondering Where is all this leading? What is it good for? I can't imagine a better source than this book to dispel the doubts and build an understanding of what modeling is all about."
Henry O. Pollak, Ph.D.,
Visiting Professor of Mathematics Education, Teacher's College, Columbia University, and former President of the MAA.

The Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM) completed its 16th contest in 2014 with 20,000 students having participated in the annual four-day contest since its inception. This volume presents the interesting history of the ICM contest, which includes descriptions of the 16 problems, listings and summaries of outstanding teams, demographics of contestants and their schools, and reflections and helpful advice articles by participants, advisors, judges, and directors. Articles describe how to prepare teams and how to develop modeling curricula along with discussions on the current interdisciplinary academic environment and related literature. The volume provides an insightful look at trends in educating future interdisciplinary modelers and problem solvers.

ICM-A Bright Promise

I have often said that some ideas are better than the people who have them-and that I am living proof. COMAP is a perfect example. We have somehow managed to survive and flourish for 35 years. We have managed to have some real influence on mathematics education through the creation of materials in print, video, and software that present applications and mathematical modeling at a wide variety of educational levels. I never ceased to be amazed at what has been accomplished. And I know in my heart that the only reason that we have been able to succeed and thrive is through the tireless efforts and energies of the Chris Arneys and Frank Giordanos and Paul Campbells who have chosen to work with us all of these years.

ICM is an idea that has proven to be a beacon to those who love mathematics for its ability to analyze and help solve real and important problems. Both MCM and ICM have drawn students and faculty alike into the modeling fold. All of us who do this work appreciate mathematics for its beauty. But all of us also appreciate the power of mathematics to help us understand and deal with the complexities of our world. We are educators and we want our students to see knowledge not compartmentalized into a discrete set of disciplines, but with all of its interconnections.

For many students, working on MCM or ICM problems is the first time that they have been asked to work in a team environment. For many, it is the first time that a teacher has told them that they can use any (inanimate) resources at their disposal. And for many, it is the first time that they are given time to think and plan their work. Working on an ICM problem is almost always their first experience of being asked to draw significantly on knowledge of more than one discipline at a time. Yet this is the world they inhabit. This is what modern life and careers will demand.

This volume is a labor of love, as is the ICM contest itself. The people who have put this together have made another major contribution to our education system€”nationally and internationally. We owe them a debt of gratitude. Interdisciplinary education is our hope for a brighter future. ICM is one light along that way, a torch that we are proud to have lit and a flame that we are dedicated to nurturing for years and years to come.

Sol Garfunkel
Executive Director

Table of Contents

Preface: ICM-A Bright Promise

Part I: The Contest

A Short History of the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM)

Reflections and Advice from Participants

Reflections and Advice from Two Former ICM Competitors
Reflecting on the 2014 ICM: Building Confidence and Inspiration
Reflections on the ICM: Competing and Coaching
My Story with the ICM
Our Story of Modeling in the ICM

Reflections and Advice from Advisors

Helping Students Get the Most from the ICM
On the Road of Mathematical and Interdisciplinary Modeling: My Decade-Long Association with ICM
Developing an Interdisciplinary Mindset with Students through the ICM

Reflections and Advice from Judges

Judges' Reflections on the ICM
Practical Advice

The ICM Problems 1999-2014

Recognitions and Interesting Facts

Part II: Interdisciplinarity

Developing and Understanding Interdisciplinary Problem Solving
Modeling and Problem Solving: Curriculum and Program Development
€œMultidisciplinary Trouble€ and Learning: A SENCER Approach
Bright Future of Interdisciplinarity and the ICM

Reading about Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

Reviews of Interdisciplinary Books
References about Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

About the Editors

Price: $39.99
AuthorChris Arney and Paul J. Campbell
Product Number7781
Primary LevelUndergraduate
Application AreasContest preparation
Format286 page
softcover book
9" x 6"