In 1999, the postgraduate program Mathematics for Industry of the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven decided to organize a Modeling Week each year in order to train its own students in mathematical modeling and team work and in order to assess new candidates for the program. The Modeling Week March 2011 is the 18th in a row and will take place from Monday the 21st of March until Monday the 28th of March 2011. The objectives of this modeling week are threefold. It is a workshop for the trainees of the program, training them in working in teams, communicating with a problem owner and carrying out the first steps towards mathematical modeling. It is also an assessment for new applicants to the program, so that they can show that they have the right attitude and mathematical qualities towards problem solving by mathematical means. Finally, it is a means to attract new candidates for the program.
During the Modeling Week students from all over Europe come together to work, in teams of four or five, on a project: modeling a real world problem. The project is brought in by a group of problem owners, who are representatives from a particular company. The projects are screened by the Modeling Week's organizing committee to ensure that the problems are appropriate for the various purposes aimed at. In particular, the problems must be amenable to being "modeled" using mathematical relations. In order to comply with the range of the students' mathematical background and field of specialization, it is necessary that the problems are of a varied nature having links with, for instance, continuum physics, control theory, signal processing, statistics, combinatorial optimization, etc.