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Mathematical Sciences

GSMM Camp Information

General Information and Objectives

Rensselaer's Graduate Student Mathematical Modeling (GSMM) Camp is a 4-day workshop whose aim is graduate student education and career development directed towards modern scientific problem solving. The GSMM Camp is designed to promote a broad range of problem-solving skills, including mathematical modeling and analysis, scientific computation, and critical assessment of solutions. Problems are brought to the Camp by invited faculty and industry mentors. These problems are highly interdisciplinary in nature, inspired by real problems that arise in industrial applications. The work on the problems is done by graduate student teams, each with the guidance of an invited mentor, so that scientific communication is an important and integral component of the work. In this way, the GSMM Camp exposes graduate students to real-world problems of current scientific interest, and provides a valuable educational and career-enhancing experience outside the traditional academic setting.

The GSMM Camp operates hand in hand with the annual Mathematical Problems in Industry Workshop, this year to be held at the University of Delaware. The Camp runs during the week prior to the Workshop and the students and mentors attending the Camp are encouraged to attend the Workshop as well. Thus, the GSMM Camp provides an additional problem-solving experience for graduate students as a warm-up prior to the Workshop.

Camp Organizer and Invited Mentors

The GSMM Camp is organized by Donald Schwendeman, Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics at Rensselaer. Inquires can be made to the Organizer at or to Joanne Kessler, GSMMC Coordinator, at

The invited mentors for GSMMC 2012 are

Brief descriptions of the problems (as they become available) will be posted on the GSMMC Program webpage.

Student Participation and Application Form

Graduate students, who are actively pursuing an MS or Ph.D in some area of applied mathematics, are invited to apply to GSMMC 2013. Interested students should complete the online application form and have a signed letter of recommendation emaied to the Camp Coordinator at Alternatively, the letter can also be mailed to the Camp Coordinator at the following address:

GSMMC 2013 c/o
Ms. Joanne Kessler
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180

Graduate student support for GSMMC 2013 has been provided by the National Science Foundation. This support is limited to approximately 30 graduate students, so that an early application is appreciated and will have a greater chance of success.

The selection will be based on academic background and interests as indicated in the application form, and on the letter of recommendation provided by a faculty sponsor. Women and students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications must be completed by April 26, 2013 for full consideration, and successful applicants will be notified by early May (or sooner if the application arives sooner).

Succesful applicants will be registered automatically for MPI 2013 and support will be provided to attend that meeting as well.

Camp Format and Location

The GSMM Camp is an informal problem-solving workshop. On the first day of the Camp, the invited faculty mentors will present problems to the whole group. These problems, spanning a wide range of topics, are chosen to exercise and enhance the problem-solving skills of the attending graduate students. After the initial problem presentations, the graduate students break up into small groups, according to each student's problem preference, to work in teams with the help of the faculty mentors. Work on the problems proceeds in an informal setting for the remainder of the Camp. On the last day, summary presentations highlighting the work done are given by student representatives from each team.

All activities of the Camp take place on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (campus map). The initial problem presentations and the closing summary presentations will be given in the Jonnson Engineering Center (JEC), room 3117. The work on each problem will take place in break-out rooms on the ground floor of the Darrin Communications Center (DCC). Lodging for visiting graduate students will be provided in university housing (dorms/suites) and meals will be provided for all students and mentors at the Student Union. During the Camp, students and mentors will have access to campus computing, library and recreational facilities.

MPI Organizing Committee and Associated Activities

The GSMM Camp is part of a collaborative project, funded by NSF, consisting of the Camp and the MPI Workshop, and their associated activities. The members of the MPI Organizing Committee are

  • Donald Schwendeman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (email, webpage),
  • Peter Kramer, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (email, webpage),
  • David Edwards, University of Delaware (email, webpage),
  • Louis Rossi, University of Delaware (email, webpage),
  • Joseph Fehribach, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (email, webpage),
  • Burt Tilley, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (email, webpage).
  • Suzanne Weekes, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (email, webpage).
  • Linda Cummings, New Jersey Institute of Technology (email, webpage).
  • Richard Moore, New Jersey Institute of Technology (email, webpage).
Students attending the Camp and Workshop will be eligible to take part in activities associated with the project. These activities include
  • Student participation at national meetings. Selected students will be offered travel support to present the results of their work at national meetings.
  • MPI Graduate Fellowships. Selected students will be offered support in the form of a graduate fellowship to continue their work on the problems presented at the meetings.
  • OCCAM Exchange Program. Selected students will be offered travel support to attend the UK Graduate Modeling Camp organized by the Oxford Center for Collaborative Applied Mathematics (OCCAM) at the University of Oxford in the Spring, 2014.
Inquires about the project can be made to any of the members of the MPI Organizing Committee listed above.

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