Preparing a Solution Paper

The contest problem will become available at your indicated time and date.  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.

  • Teams may use any inanimate source of data, materials, computers, software,  references, websites, books, etc. Be sure to credit all sources used.
  • 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.
  • In the paper, the team should

–      Restate and Clarify the Problem – state in your own words what you are going to do.

–      Include 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 of model used/developed.

–      Model Testing and Sensitivity Analysis, including error analysis, etc.

–      Discuss strengths and weakness of your model or approach.

–      Provide algorithms in words, figures, or flow charts (as a step by step algorithmic approach) for all computer codes developed.

  •  Partial solutions are acceptable. There is no passing or failing cutoff score, nor will numerical scores be assigned. The judges are primarily interested in a teams’ approach and methods.
  • Papers must be typed in English and submitted online via the advisor’s account at by the end of the 5-day period..
  • Note: The first page of your solution should be your 1 page Summary Sheet followed by your full solution no more than 20 pages, i.e, your submission should be up to 21 pages. In total, we accept one file in submission that includes both summary and full solution. 
  • The solution must consist entirely of written text and possibly figures, charts, or other written material only. No non paper support such as computer disks will be accepted.
  • The Solution Paper must display the team control number and the page number at the header of every page; for example, use the following page header on each page:

    Team # 2018001                                                                 Page 6 of 13

  • 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
  • Any preparation rule not followed is grounds for disqualification.
  • Teams should keep in mind the following guidelines while preparing their solution papers:

–      Conciseness and organization are extremely important. Key statements should present major ideas and results.

–      Present a clarification or restatement of the problem as appropriate.

–      Present a clear exposition of all variables, assumptions, and hypotheses.

–      Present an analysis of the problem, motivating or justifying the modeling to be used.

–      Include a design of the model. Discuss how the model could be tested.

–      Discuss any apparent strengths or weaknesses to your model or approach.

–      Incorporate lengthy derivations, computations, or illustrative examples in appendices. Summarize these in the main report. Results must be explicitly stated in the body of the report.