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USST Students Achieve Major Breakthrough in MCM

October 12, 2020 | By Zhang Liu | Copyedited by William, Zhang Liu

The awarding list of the 2020 Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM/ICM) has already been announced. Instructed by Dr. Zhang Fu from the College of Science, the team composed of Zhang Yifan, Li Jiaqi, and Zhou Zheng was designated as a finalist - Nomination for International Special Award (globally top 1%). It is the best achievement that USST students have ever made in MCM.

The Mathematical Contest in Modeling is cooperatively run by the National Science Foundation of the United States, American Mathematical Society, Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences and Applied Union. It is the world’s most influential high-level academic contest as well as the most authoritative and the most influential mathematical contest in modeling in the world.
The team first began to participate in the contest in modeling when they were freshmen, so they have accumulated many mathematical models and algorithms due to three-year contest experience, and made great progress in modeling and writing.
MCM requires all participants to write their papers in English. Therefore, the greatest challenge the team are faced with is writing because Chinglish has always disturbed them. To solve this problem, Zhang Yifan, Li Jiaqi, and Zhou Zheng were making full preparations to meet the challenge from the winter holidays to the contest: they were always reading excellent papers carefully for writing skills, writing methods, writing inspiration and modeling construction.

“During the winter holidays, Mr. Zhang spent almost all his time instructing us how to write papers in English and answering our questions patiently. Without Mr. Zhang’s guidance and help, we could have never achieved such good results in the contest,” said Zhou Zheng.
  “In the MCM, I got to know Zhang Yifan. Their competition performance has left a deep impression on me. At the beginning, the subject of the MCM results from production and scientific research, depending on whether our eyes are sharp, and whether we possess analytical abilities and creativity. Their performance is very outstanding,” said Dr. Zhang Fu, “In addition, it is necessary to solve a complicated problem within four days and finish a written report. Apart from physical challenges, the greatest challenge is to remain patient and determined when we are faced with constant difficult tasks. The Finalist Award fully proves the diligence and perseverance of our students.”
“In our daily studies, the basic subject must be combined with basic scientific knowledge. The consolidation of maths knowledge depends on both theoretical recognition and practical abilities. Exploration in some relative areas and frontier scientific directions must depend on interdisciplinary creativity and abilities whereas the augmentation of independent abilities requires new knowledge from widespread learning materials rather than just teaching forms,” said Li Jiaqi, another team member.
They all hope that they can do more meaningful academic research, cope with problems with mathematical modeling creativity, keep enhancing professional abilities, and solidify their mathematical foundation in the future competition.
Just as  Zhang Yifan put it, “We all look forward to going out of our class and contributing our own bit to scientific research.”


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