Handy page to support MCM and ICM contests.


Sample Question

Snowboard Course


Determine the shape of a snowboard course (currently known as a “halfpipe”) to maximize the production of “vertical air” by a skilled snowboarder.  "Vertical air" is the maximum vertical distance above the edge of the halfpipe.  Tailor the shape to optimize other possible requirements, such as maximum twist in the air.

What tradeoffs may be required to develop a “practical” course?

Researching the Question


Starting Points

General Tools

  • UW Libraries Search, use to search for books on topic. Search for books with keywords first; then look at subject headings and follow links. Find journals by title in catalog.
  • Research Guides. Helpful guides to UW Libraries' resources by subject, useful especially when not your field.
  • General Reference Tools, Encyclopedias, handbooks, guides, dictionaries in all subject areas.
  • Scopus, large abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources in biology, physics, chemistry, geosciences, agriculture, medicine, business, social work, and the social sciences.
  • Web of Science, large database of peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles in the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Arts and Humanities, 1899-.
  • Scirus, a science-specific search engine for academic work, published and unpublished; searches journal content, scientists' homepages, courseware, pre-print server material, patents and institutional repository and website information.


  • Academic Search Complete (Ebscohost). Provides indexing and abstracts for over 9500 publications. Use  Check for Full Text at UW to link to fulltext.
  • PROquest Databases. Searches 28 databases--you can narrow the selection.  Can include newspapers (nat'l and WA) and dissertations on all subjects. Many records link to fulltext.
  • JSTOR. Searches and provides fulltext of core academic journals in all subjects. Coverage from v. 1 of each journal to about 5 years ago.
  • Springerlink. Use Springerlink to search fulltext context of their vast archive of academic books and journals in all subjects.  UW has access to most Springer journals on all subjects including most math journals available from v. 1-. UW also has access to the fulltext book content in math, stat, and computer science, 2005+; and Lecture Notes in Physics, 1969+. Green block indicates UW access.

    Math Resources

    • MathSciNet, 1940-, our primary database for mathematical and statistical articles and books. Search for words in bibliographic citation and reviews/abstracts, use purple button to link out to UW Catalog.
    • JSTOR. Searches and provides fulltext of core math and stat journals. Coverage from v. 1 of each journal to about 5 years ago.
    • Springerlink--Math & Stat. UW subscribes to most Springer math and stat journals, most are available from v. 1-. UW also has access to fulltext of ebook content in math, stat, computer science, and some physics, 2005+. Green block indicates UW access.
    • SIAM.  Online access to ALL SIAM content:  journals (from v. 1 to current) and nearly all SIAM book content (about 400 titles, past and current).
    • Current Index to Statistics (CIS), 1970's-, more extensive search of statistical literature, by keyword.
    • Engineering Village 2: Compendex and INSPEC. Bibliographic index covering engineering, physics, computer science, applied math and statistics, etc. Can link to fulltext if UW subscribes to journal.
    • Math/Stat Electronic Reference Books

    Useful Journals

    Finding Data