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South African Mathematical Modeling Contest (SAMMC)

Contest outline and instructions

The main aim of SAMMC ("Sam-see") is to provide South African undergraduate students in science and engineering disciplines some exposure to applied mathematics problems more relevant to real-world applications than they might otherwise encounter in the classroom. It is a chance to challenge their brain and develop problem-solving skills, gain experience in working in a team, and possibly win some prizes!

The format of the contest is loosely based on the international COMAP MCM competition, held every January/February: A secondary aim of SAMMC is to gain experience in solving MCM-type problems and to help select teams for the international competition.

Unfortunately, due to lack of interest/availablilty, the 2022 contest has been cancelled.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the organisers at

SAMMC2019 Contest Report

SAMMC2019 had 17 teams from 4 universities successfully complet the contest. Of these 17, 8 were graded as successful participants (3 from Stellenbosch and UKZN, and 1 each from WITS and UP). 3 teams chose problem A (James Bond car stunt), 3 chose problem B (Art gallery security), and 2 chose problem C (fisheries forecasting).

In joint third place
  • Team Legendres - Okello Ketley and Sebastiano Rosolen (Stellenbosch)
  • Team Quickmaffs - Devon Crowther, Eugene Fouche, Emma Nel, Jaymie Van der Merwe (Stellenbosch)
In second place
  • Team FOAM - Henri Groeneveld, Rachel Groenewald, Alex Heyns, Praneetha Kalidindi (Stellenbosch)
In first place:
  • Team Typo - Berne Nortier, James Louw, Nian Vorster, Michelle Jacobs (UP)
Additional industrial prizes were awarded for:
  • Most innovative idea - Team Typo (sponsored by Opti-Num)
  • Best MATLAB code - Team Legendres (sponsored by Opti-Num)
  • Best Problem C submission - Team Legendres
The organisers are grateful for support from the DST-NRF Centre of Excellent in Mathematical And Statistical Sciences and Opti-Num solutions.

SAMMC2018 Contest Report

SAMMC2018 had 7 teams from 4 universities successfully complet the contest. Of these 7 teams, 1 chose problem A (zip line), 4 chose problem B (stop-go) and 2 chose problem C (home field advantage). The final submissions were filtered by the local and contest organisers, and the final results determined by an independent adjudicator.

The following teams were successful participants:
  • Gareth Andrews, Chelsea Jessiman, Dylan Phelps (NMU)
  • Aphiwe Magaya, Sitembiso Caleni, Sizwe Sibanyoni, Matlhogonolo Manye (NMU)
  • Darrian Marais, Ogulcan Kusluoglu (Stellenbosch)
  • Boikhutso Ramanyane, Kevin Kamukapa, Kristen Smith (UP)
In joint second place
  • Team Heffalump - Adriaan de Clercq, Janco Krause (UP)
  • Team Globo gym purple cobras - Tamlin Love, Roy Gusinow, Omer Elgoni, Leeson Govender (WITS)
In first place:
  • Team SU1 - Christiaan van der Merwe, Dario Trinchero, Jeroen Bormans (Stellenbosch)

Older problems

A collection of problems from previous years can be found here.