Several Useful Tips from the Judges

By Rohit Jawle

Last updated on Oct 3, 2015

     While developing a mathematical modeling research paper, there are a few important factors that greatly affect the overall quality of your report. There are three main aspects of your paper that are thoroughly examined by the judges: the summary, the quality of the writing, and the modeling process. The first thing the judges see is the summary; this gives the judges their first impressions of your paper. The second main topic in the report includes various different issues associated with technical and analytical writing. The final topic, also the most important one, is the overview of the modeling process, which includes personal observations of the event.
     Firstly, the summary of a technical report should contain three things: context, approach, and specific results. It is key for the summary to be well written and concise because it is the judge’s first impression and it helps the reader understand the content of the paper and reason for the topic. In this part of the paper, the reader should also be given a good understanding and explanation of the approach used to address the problem. Finally, the summary should give the reader explicit results for the questions that are imposed in the real-world problem.
     The next thing that the judges focus on is the writing style of the report and the quality of the work’s explanation. First of all, it is important to realize that the reader neither is familiar with the model nor understands it. Your report must inform the reader of the source, the meaning, and the limitations of the model. Next, there needs to be a succinct, comprehensive method of presenting information; one of the most common ways to do so is with the use of tables and figures. Each figure and table should be labeled and thoroughly explained to best convey vital information to the reader. Wrapping up the model, citations and references are required to make the motivations and ideas behind your approach clear to the judges. Also, judges prefer to see a list of assumptions, which they can refer back to while further exploring your model. While developing your model, it is also crucial to include brief introductions and conclusions to every entry of your technical report.
   The most critical part of your model is developing the model. Modeling is a repetitive process. It generally starts with a simple mathematical description employed as a way to attempt to capture the most basic phenomena of interest. A fundamental aspect of the modeling process is to go back through your model and make changes and updates in order to improve the model. Every model should have an in depth explanation to provide important insights on its relative advantages and disadvantages. Sensitivity analysis, an essential part of the modeling process, is determining what parts of your model will result in the largest change for some minuscule modification in the model itself. In addition to graphs and sensitivity analysis, tables of values makes it easier for both the writer and the reader to comprehend the information explained in the report. These visuals can end up being very helpful, especially to the reader and the judge because they clarify significant computations. Finally, regression, when used in the appropriate manner, can considerably improve your model. However, deeper analysis of why and how these two variables are connected must be discussed in the paper to provide enough reasoning for your approach.