Student Competition Using Differential Equation Modeling – SCUDEM

The SIMIODE organization, Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations, is excited to announce a new program for undergraduate students: our national Student Competition Using Differential Equation Modeling (SCUDEM).

At this time, we are seeking regional host sites and coordinators for the competition to be held on Saturday, 21 April 2018 from 8:30AM - 4:30PM at locations around the country.  While students are working on their modeling projects at the local site, faculty coaches will engage in a meaningful faculty development program on using modeling in their coursework. SIMIODE will provide stipends for local hosts, support for student assistants, and funding  for refreshments and awards. Thus, there are no costs to your department or campus other than providing the meeting spaces and guest internet connectivity. In addition, the hosting sites receive free registration for their team.

Below you will find information about the competition and responsibilities involved in serving as a regional host site. We sincerely hope you will consider hosting SCUDEM on your campus for this enriching and rewarding experience and help us further our goal of bringing differential equations modeling experiences to campuses across the country.


The student competition takes place over a week-long period that begins on each team’s individual home campus and culminates on Saturday, 21 April 2018, at a regional host site. Beginning on Monday, 16 April 2018, student teams access three modeling scenarios (introductory, intermediate, and advanced) involving differential equations, posted at our SIMIODE website. These teams will work at their home institution developing approaches and solutions to their chosen modeling scenario.  The scenarios are designed so that every team may experience some success in modeling, building their skills and confidence in differential equations.  Each team will prepare a draft Executive Summary and Presentation to bring to the regional host site on Competition Saturday, 21 April 2018. There, student teams will work on a small expansion of the modeling scenario they selected (for example, effects of new assumptions, variables or changes in parameters) for inclusion in their final submissions.

As a regional host site, you will receive twelve teams (including a team from your own school, hopefully) of three students each as well as faculty coaches and other faculty attendees on your campus on Competition Saturday, 21 April 2018, from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM.  In the morning faculty will participate in faculty development experiences to help them incorporate more modeling in their coursework. SIMIODE has faculty development materials available and will work with campus coordinators to plan the workshops.  Student teams will address the expansion to their problem, refine their executive summary and practice their presentation, adding any additional details needed.  At noon, students will turn in the final draft of their executive summary which will be judged by coaches present.  During the afternoon session, each team, in one of two groups of six teams, will give a 10 minute presentation, scored by an audience of coaches, faculty, and participating students.  The competition culminates with an awards ceremony rounding out the day by 4:30 PM to allow time to travel home.


Local site coordinators will be responsible for arranging the logistics of the competition on their campus, including reserving spaces, lunch at food service, and assistants for registration and duties of the day.

The host campus must be able to provide

  • 12 small, private work areas for three person teams (classrooms or conference rooms);
  • Common meeting room for opening and closing ceremonies for 50 team members and coaches;
  • Meeting room or classroom for 12- 25 faculty coaches and other faculty attendees;
  • Lunch facilities for participants to purchase lunch on their own; and
  • Guest Wi-Fi access for teams and coaches.


  • Pay stipends of $500 to local site coordinator, offer $200 for student assistants,  and provide $400 for modest refreshments and awards;
  • Promote and advertise the event broadly in conjunction with local contact efforts;
  • Provide all materials for the competition;
  • Coordinate with host sites to invite colleges and universities in the region;
  • Invite selected, quality team efforts for publication as Modeling Scenarios at SIMIODE; and
  • Collect registration forms and fees online from the schools ($200 per school, with no fee for local site school) beginning six weeks prior to the event.

We sincerely hope you will be part of this exciting initiative that brings students and colleagues to your campus and allows you to showcase your mathematics programs to colleagues in the area. Hosting institutions are allowed one team in the competition and an unlimited number of spots in the faculty development workshop with no registration fee. Hosting institutions can additionally invite non-participating students and faculty to attend the presentations and award ceremony. If you are interested or have further questions, please contact us at no later than 15 January 2018. We will be designating host sites regionally on a first come, first served basis. Interest is high among those who hear about SCUDEM, so do not wait too long.

SCUDEM is sponsored by the SIMIODE organization, Systemic Initiative for Modeling Investigations and Opportunities with Differential Equations,  a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.  You can learn more about SCUDEM at and about SIMIODE at where we offer a community in which students and colleagues can learn/teach, communicate, collaborate, peer review publish, and explore topics in differential equations modeling. SIMIODE resources are FREE.


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