USA Regional Contest Instructions and Rules

Note the rules below apply to the USA regional round only.
To view the rules specific to your region click here.

To represent the USA in the 2018 IM2C your team must first fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Your team, members and advisor must be associated and sponsored by a US school or institution.
  2. Your team must have successfully competed in the 2017 HiMCM contest. Click here to learn more about the High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling (HiMCM)®.
  3. Your team must have been awarded a designation of Meritorious or above (Meritorious, Finalist or Outstanding).
  4. If you have fulfilled all the requirements above and have not received you invitation to compete in the IM2C contact us at

A team must have a faculty advisor from that school. There are several procedures that a team's advisor must go through at various times before, during, and after the contest. Please read these instructions carefully and be sure to complete all the steps involved. It is the advisor's responsibility to make sure that teams follow all steps required for participation in IM2C.

Note that IM2C is in the USA Eastern time zone: all times given in these instructions are in terms of Eastern Standard Time (EDT) except where local time is noted.

Contest Rules

  1. A team may consist of up to four secondary or below students, enrolled in the same school.
  2. You must obtain and use your control number and password to participate in the 4th annual IM2C. Teams must log on to the IM2C web site at the beginning of their 5 day contest period (not before 3:01 p.m. on Monday, March 12, 2018) to receive the contest problems.
  3. Teams will be given access to the modeling problem.
  4. The contest runs between 3:01 p.m. EDT Monday, March 12th, 2018 and 3:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 20th, 2018.
  5. Each team will decide on a consecutive 5 day period between March 12 - April 20 to work on the contest problem. For example, the contest for your team could be from 8:00 a.m. on Monday, March 19 until 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 24. Your teams' contest ends upon completion of the 5 day period.
  6. Faculty advisors must ensure that no alterations of any form are made after the end of your 5 day period or after 3:00 p.m. EDT Friday, April 20, 2018. Papers must be collected from students at this time and emailed to COMAP for judging.
  7. All emailed papers must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT Friday, April 20, 2018.
  8. A signed Parental/Guardian Authorization form must be included for each participating student. Schools should email the signed forms to COMAP, and retain a copy of each for their records.
  9. All accommodations relative to learning conditions for individual students would follow the accommodations used as part of the local school program in an affected student's daily learning. If specialized staff is required, the school bears the responsibility for providing any specialized assistance as required by law. If such accommodations are required for a student participating, the school should detail them and the extent to which they were utilized as part of the IM2C activities.

Your Team(s) Online:

Each team will be assigned a control number.

Be sure to use a valid current email address so that we can use it to contact you at any point before, during, or after the contest, if necessary.

Preparing a Team

  1. Go to the IM2C web site and review the rules, guidelines and problems to prepare your students.
  2. Ensure that students have access to computers that enable them to word process, use a spreadsheet, and dynamically model both graphs and geometric relationships. In addition, students should have access to graphing calculators.
  3. It is both legitimate and desirable to coach or otherwise prepare your team(s). Visit the IM2C web site at and click on Sample Problems to prepare your students.
  4. All parents of students participating in the contest must sign a Parental/Guardian Authorization Form making their child's work available (with confidentiality assurance) for use in example and training materials for IM2C professional development activities. Additionally, should their team be designated as an Outstanding winner, the student's Solution Paper (or solution abstract) will be published online. THIS AUTHORIZATION FORM MUST BE DOWNLOADED FROM THE INTERNET AND SENT HOME WITH EACH STUDENT BEFORE THE CONTEST PERIOD. SIGNED AUTHORIZATION FORMS FOR EACH STUDENT MUST BE INCLUDED WITH SOLUTION PAPERS FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE JUDGES.

Preparing a Solution Paper

  1. The contest problem will become available at 3:01 pm EDT on Monday, March 12, 2018. When teams are ready to compete the team advisor must login to view the problem. Once you login and view the problem we recommend that you print out a copy for your students.
  2. Teams may use any inanimate source of data, materials, computers, software, references, websites, books, etc. Be sure to credit all sources used.
  3. Teams may not use any person (other than team members) to discuss or obtain ideas for solving their problem nor may they seek help in obtaining an answer from the teams' advisor or anyone else. Any team that discusses the problem with anyone in a position to supply them with information reflecting experience or professional expertise will be disqualified. The relevant issue is one of intent: each team of students is expected to develop all of its substantive analysis without the help of others.
  4. Partial solutions are acceptable. There is no passing or failing cutoff score, nor will numerical scores be assigned. The IM2C judges are primarily interested in a teams' approach and methods.
  5. Papers must be typed and in English with a readable font of at least 12 point type.
  6. Your submission should consist of a 1 page Summary Sheet and your solution cannot exceed 20 pages for a maximum of 21 pages. (The appendices and references should appear at the end of the paper and do not count toward the 20 page limit.)
  7. The solution must consist entirely of written text and possibly figures, charts, or other written material. No non paper support such as computer disks will be accepted.
  8. Each page of the solution must contain the team control number and the page number at the top of the page; we suggest using a page header on each page for example: Team # US-1111 page 6 of 13.
  9. The names of the students, advisor, or institution must not appear on any page of the solution. The solution must not contain any identifying information other than the team Control Number.
  10. Any preparation rule not followed is grounds for disqualification.
  11. Teams should keep in mind the following guidelines while preparing their solution papers:

Preparing and Submitting a Solution Paper

  1. The Summary Sheet
    Type a summary of the teams solution this should be the first page of your solution.
    The summary is a very important part of your IM2C paper. The judges place considerable weight on the summary, and winning papers are sometimes distinguished from other papers based on the quality of the summary. To write a good summary, imagine that a reader may choose whether to read the body of the paper based on your summary. Thus, a summary should clearly describe your approach to the problem and, most prominently, what your most important conclusions were. The summary should inspire a reader to learn the details of your work. Your concise presentation of the summary should inspire a reader to learn the details of your work. Summaries that are mere restatements of the contest problem, or are a cut-and-paste boilerplate from the Introduction are generally considered to be weak.
  2. Teams must end all work on the Solution Paper at the end of the team's consecutive 5 day period, or by 3:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 20, 2018.
  3. Send an electronic copy of the Solution Paper by email:

    3-1. Each team is required to submit an electronic copy of its solution paper by email to

    a. Your email MUST be received at COMAP on or before the email submission deadline of 5PM EDT on April 20, 2018.

    b. Failure by a team to submit a solution via email by 5PM EDT on April 20, 2018 constitutes a violation of the contest rules and will result in that team's disqualification.

    3-2. In the subject line of your email write: IMMC and your team's control number. For example: Subject: IMMC US-1111

    3-3. Use your team's control number as the name of your file attachment.

    3-4. COMAP will accept only an Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word file of your solution. DO NOT include programs or software with your email as they will not be used in the judging process. Limit one solution per email. The names of the students, advisor, or institution should NOT appear on any page of the electronic solution. Page 1 of the teams electronic solution should be the team summary. *Note: The attachment must be less than 17MB.

  4. Have each student sign the Control Sheet, pledging that they have abided by the contest rules and instructions.
  5. To Summarize:

    a. Restatement Clarification of the Problem - state in your own words what you are going to do. Assumptions with Rationale/Justification - emphasize those assumptions that bear on the problem. List clearly all variables used in your model.
    Model Design and justification for type model used/developed.
    Model Testing and Sensitivity Analysis, including error analysis, etc.
    Discuss strengths and weakness to your model or approach.
    Provide algorithms in words, figures, or flow charts (as a step by step algorithmic approach) for all computer codes developed.

    b. Send electronic copy of Solution Paper by email: See #3 above for more details.

    c. Print out one copy of the the teams Control Sheet. Be sure to have all the students sign.

    d. Collect all the signed Parental/Guardian Authorization Forms.

  6. Be sure there is a signed Parental/Guardian Authorization form for each student and include it in the packet to be emailed.
  7. After the forms are prepared email them to In the subject line of your email write: IMMC and your team's control number. For example: IMMC US-1111. COMAP will accept only Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word or a Photo Image of your contest forms. Limit one set of forms per email. Teams may take pictures of the signed forms with a phone or digital camera and then email the images to *Note: The attachment must be less than 17MB.

    Contest Forms must be received by COMAP no later than 5:00 pm EDT on Friday, May 4, 2018. COMAP is not responsible for any forms received after that date.

IM2C Regional Results and Recognition

  1. Regional Judging will be completed on May 7, 2018. At this time 2 teams will designated as Regional Outstanding and those papers will move on to compete against the other countries in the International Round.
  2. The solutions in the regional round will be recognized as Regional Outstanding (2), Finalist, or Successful Participant.