Problem of the Week
The Problem of the Week (POTW) is an activity of the United States Military Academy's Math Forum. Once each week's problem is closed out, a new problem will be posted and the solution to the previous problem will be posted. Each week, the previous week's winners will be posted below. The overall winners will be posted at the end of the academic year.
 
Background The POTW is a program that exists in some form or variation at many of the top colleges and universities across the nation and around the world. Each week, a new ... exciting ... and challenging problem will be posted to this homepage. Interested cadets, faculty, and other individuals outside USMA are welcome and encouraged to participate. Rules of Engagement The POTW contest will span the entire academic year at West Point. "Top Guns" (winners) will be identified in three categories categories at the end of the academic year, and certificates will be awarded for each of the three categories. The categories are:
All interested parties will have access to the problem at 1200 hours (Noon EST) on Friday of Week "n" and will have until 1600 (4 p.m. EST) on Thursday of Week "n+1" to present their solutions. How: Email me your solution. Email may take the forms of either: plain text typed into an email message, a word document, Excel document, Mathematica notebook, or scanned Adobe file. Regardless of the submission method, please show your work to the best of your ability. If none of these options works for you, you may drop off a hard copy in TH220. Please put the time of submission on it with the subject line: POTW 
Current Problem

Curriculum Renowned as the world’s premier leader development institution, West Point accomplishes its mission by developing cadets intellectually, physically, militarily, ethically, spiritually, and socially. Recent acknowledgments of our success include Forbes.com pronouncing West Point as the Best Public College or University in America for undergraduate education, U.S. News and World Report announced its “2011 America’s Best Colleges Rankings” with West Point the “Top Public Liberal Arts College” for the third consecutive year, and the Princeton Review designating the Academy as one of the 100 Best Value Colleges for 2009. The Academic Program consists of 26 core courses which establish the foundation for elective courses that permit cadets to explore in greater depth more than 40 majors. All cadets receive a Bachelor of Science degree, and are fully prepared to meet the intellectual requirements of a leader in today's Army. The Department of Mathematical Sciences is a multidisciplinary department teaching three semesters of Core Math (math modeling, calculus, and probability and statistics) to the freshmen and sophomore classes, as well as and elective courses in mathematical sciences and operations research. The department offers a Mathematical Sciences major, Operations Research major, and an Applied Statistics and Network Science minor. In addition to successful completion of coursework and research requirements in the Electives Program, all cadets must complete the 26 core courses, and complete a threecourse engineering sequence in one of seven engineering fields. For Operations Research majors, the systems core engineering requirement is imbedded in their program as part of this dual program shared by the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the Department of Systems Engineering. Concentrated study in our programs support the goal to prepare graduates to enter an increasingly technical world as an officer in the Army. 
Core Mathematics Program
Core mathematics education at USMA includes both acquiring a body of knowledge and developing thought processes judged fundamental to a cadet's understanding of basic ideas in mathematics, science, and engineering. Equally important, this educational process in mathematics affords opportunities for cadets to progress in their development as lifelong learners who are able to formulate intelligent questions and research answers independently and interactively. More information can be found in the Core Math Book.
In the classroom, concepts are applied to representative problems from science, engineering, and the social sciences. These applications develop cadet experience in modeling and provide immediate motivation for developing a sound mathematical foundation for future studies.
The core mathematics requirement for all cadets is a three course sequence consisting of.
Cadets will be placed in the appropriate course based on previous academic preparation and aptitude for mathematics. Cadets who have taken calculus at the college level and demonstrated mastery of the material may be able to validate the calculus requirement. Cadets may also validate the modeling course and/or the probability and statistics course by taking a validation exam. Cadets who demonstrate a deficiency in algebra and/or trigonometry may be required to take an additional course before entering the threecourse, core math sequence.
There are six primary goals of the core mathematics program (as seen below).

The Department of Mathematical Sciences hosts several research and professional development seminars. The following groups host seminars:
This table lists the seminars hosted by CDAS, CFD, and Math of OR. All of these seminars take place on Thursday afternoons from 14:00 to 14:55 except for the seminar on 5 February (with Andre Napoli) which is on a Friday (still 14:00 to 14:55) and the seminar on 28 March (with Irv Lustig) which is on a Monday from 15:00  15:55.

Other Resources
Review Sheets

Prospective Students
Your Success in the Core Mathematics Curriculum Begins Here  
What is the Fundamental Concepts Exam (FCE)? Cadets enter the US Military Academy with different math backgrounds. To successfully begin work in their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses at USMA, incoming cadets must arrive with the knowledge of certain mathematical skills and concepts. The FCE is designed to test those skills. All cadets are required to pass the test and demonstrate mastery of its topics before moving on to higher math courses.

Sample Fundamental Concepts Exams 
Have You Already Taken Calculus? If you are a high school student who is currently taking or has already taken single variable calculus (Calc I or Calc II) then you may be able to validate single variable calculus and enroll in the Advanced Core Mathematics Program at West Point. For more information on this opportunity, follow this link. 
Advanced Core Mathematics Program
What is the Advanced Core Mathematics Program? The Advanced Core Mathematics Program is a voluntary twosemester advanced mathematics sequence for selected cadets who have validated single variable calculus and demonstrated strength in the mathematical sciences. It is designed to provide a foundation for the continued study of mathematics, technology, sciences, and engineering. Students in the program study Mathematical Modeling and Introduction to Differential Equations (MA153) during their first semester and Advanced Multivariable Calculus (MA255) in their second semester. Students will then take Probability and Statistics (MA206) in the fall of yearling year.
