Cadet Activities

The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers many activities to inspire cadets to achieve their full potential and become critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. These activities provide opportunities for cadets to apply their knowledge of math and interact with other Mathematicians across the country. Some of these activities include Math Forums and Mathematical Competitions. In addition, each semester, several cadets are recognized for their excellence in Mathematics, demonstrated both within and outside of the classroom.

Mathematical Competitions

West Point cadets are routinely afforded several opportunities to participate in mathematical competitions throughout their cadet experience. Cadets studying in Mathematical Sciences or Operations Research majors have enjoyed success in recent years in the following competitions: Michigan Autumn Take Home (MATH) Challenge; the Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Exam; the Putnam Exam, the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM), and the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM).

  • Michigan Autumn Take Home (MATH) Challenge:
    • Since 1994, Alma College has sponsored the Michigan Autumn Take Home Challenge is a team-oriented math competition for undergraduates. Teams of 2 or 3 students take a 3-hour exam consisting of 10 interesting problems dealing with topics and concepts found in the undergraduate mathematics curriculum. The MATH Challenge always occurs on a Saturday close to the midpoint of autumn. Each team takes the exam on their home campus under the supervision of a faculty advisor.
  • Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest:
    • Each fall, the Mathematics Department at Virginia Tech sponsors this contest for over 130 colleges and universities throughout the United States. The contest began in 1979 and has grown to the point where over 50 schools participate in a typical year. Contestants at each participating school take the two and one-half hour exam on their own campus under the supervision of one of their own faculty members. Initially conceived as a regional preliminary contest to the annual national William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition, the VTRMC still serves that function at a number of participating schools.
  • Putnam Exam:
    • The Mathematical Association of America's William Lowell Putnam Competition is an annual contest for college students established in 1938. Each year, over 3000 students spend 6 hours trying to solve 12 problems. The examination is constructed to test originality as well as technical competence in the formal theories embodied in undergraduate mathematics. Questions cut across the bounds of various disciplines, and self-contained questions that do not fit into any of the usual categories may be included. The Putnam exam is widely considered to be one of the premiere mathematics exams.
  • Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM):
    • This annual competition challenges teams of 2-3 students to clarify, analyze, and propose solutions to open-ended problems. The contest attracts diverse students and faculty advisors from over 500 institutions around the world.
  • The Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM):
    • This is an annual international contest for teams of 2-3 students. ICM is an extension of the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM). It is designed to develop and advance interdisciplinary problem-solving skills as well as competence in written communication.