The idea behind CAMMP

Source: Thomas Camminady

With CAMMP, students slip into the role of scientists and thus experience the basics of mathematical modeling on the basis of practical examples. In small teams, students solve challenging real-world problems using mathematical methods and computer simulations. They are supported by scientists.

Possible questions the students deal with come from different areas such as finance, aerospace, video game design, medical imaging and ecology. Mathematical tools such as numerical and mathematical modelling can be used to solve such complex real problems.

CAMMP makes it possible for mathematics and computer science enthusiastic students to go beyond theory to problem solving. Through this longer and more intensive examination of a problem, students gain an insight into the professional world of mathematicians, computer scientists and engineers.

Within the framework of CAMMP, different offers can be taken up by teachers together with students:

  •  CAMMP day: Computer-aided mathematical modeling, one-day, at KIT, Karlsruhe or RWTH Aachen
  •  CAMMP week: A whole week in a youth hostel on the subject of computer-aided mathematical modeling.

Project goals

We aim to make the broad public aware of the importance of mathematics and simulation science for society as a whole, and at the same time serve as a career and study orientation. CAMMP thus serves as a perfect connection point for the subjects computer science, mathematics and physics, since the interaction of these three subjects is fully exploited and is in the foreground:

Physics provides the underlying laws of nature, mathematics the iterative procedure, and in computer science the simulation is realized on this basis. (Renate Allgöwer, Stuttgarter Zeitung , 08/14/2018)

CAMMP teaches the handling of mathematical modeling in a playful way and thus also promotes competencies in this area. Following the school curriculum, mathematical modeling includes the following steps:

  • Translating the problem formulated in colloquial language into a mathematical model.
  • Solving the model using existing mathematical knowledge
  • Evaluation and verification of the obtained solution by interpreting the results and describing them to the user.

By working in small teams, the students additionally expand other process-related competencies, such as communication and teamwork skills as well as the use of hardware and software tools for problem solving.

In addition to the students, mathematics teachers can also benefit from an intensive engagement with mathematical modeling. Students often find it very motivating to experience authentic mathematics using real examples.

 

History

Since 1993, the KOMMS project from Kaiserslautern, similar to CAMMP, has been offering a week on the topic of mathematical modeling in Rhineland-Palatinate every summer. The project week was initiated by Professor Dr. Helmut Neunzert, former director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM. Since then, events of this kind have been held regularly throughout Germany, Austria and Italy (South Tyrol).

In 2011 Prof. Dr. Ahmed Ismail, Dr. Nicole Faber and Prof. Dr. Martin Frank founded CAMMP in Aachen and in May 2011 the first CAMMP week took place, which has been organized annually since then. The event format CAMMP day, one-day modeling days, where classes or courses can learn more about mathematical modeling in one day at RWTH Aachen University, was introduced in 2012. One year later, CAMMP was officially recognized as a student laboratory and has been part of the EDULABS of RWTH Aachen University ever since.

In September 2015 the co-founder Prof. Dr. Ahmed E. Ismail left the student lab, as he followed a call to the University of Virginia. In 2017, CAMMP expanded with a second location in Karlsruhe, since co-founder Prof. Dr. Martin Frank moved to KIT in September 2017 and is building CAMMP there together with Maren Hattebuhr, Stephanie Hofmann, Sarah Schönbrodt and Kirsten Wohak. Since 2019 we have also been offering events for students in Karlsruhe.