Math Modeling Contest

by Theresa Rhodes last modified 2016-04-28T16:30:25-04:00

This page is designed to assist Mercer University students participating in the online math modeling contest. Included are tips on using Tarver Library resources to search for journal articles and other scholarly materials and locating these materials in the Tarver Library. Your faculty advisor is the expert on the Math part, but as your Subject Librarian, I'll help with the library part.


MathSciNet is your first stop for identifying articles

  • provides access to Mathematical Reviews and Current Mathematical Publications
  • produced by the American Mathematical Society
  • coverage begins in 1940
  • includes over 1,900 current journals with links to 1,344,776 original articles
  • as of October 2010, now include MathJax, open source JavaScript display engine, that displays typeset mathematics directly in web pages
  • most items are classified according to the Mathematics Subject Classification
  • authors are uniquely identified, allowing for a search by individual author rather than by name string
  • includes links to journals, which Tarver may or may not have a subscription to, but does not include any full-text
  • Note: Your Mercer University ID (MUID) number is required for off-campus access

The home page has tabs for searching the main areas of the database:


The Publications tab searches the review database and displays bibliographic data, reviews and (when available) linked reference lists for article and book listings.

The Authors tab searches the author database and displays authors identified uniquely according to their publications as well as a listing of name variations.

The Journals tab searches the MR (Mathematical Review) journal database and displays a journal or list of journals with links to bibliographic information, publisher websites, and issues listed in MathSciNet.

The Author Citations tab displays up to 10 items ordered by the number of matched references in MathSciNet reference lists.

Tips, Tricks, & Ideas:

  • Full-text of the articles is usually not available in the database, although some articles are freely available.
  • Sometimes an author will put a pre-print on their personal web page. If you don't find free full-text, try a Google search on the author to find their web page.
  • Jot down the full citation of the article you're looking for, so that you don't have to keep going back to the search page.

For example, this citation to an article by Margaret Symington appeared in the Journal of Differential Geometry, volume 50, number 3

  • The best advice is to "keep clicking" to see if free full-text can be found.
  • If you get to a link that requests a credit card, you probably are not going to get it for free. Then, you will need to use theFull text Electronic Journal List or search the Tarver Library catalog to see if Tarver subscribes to the print journal. If electronic access is available, we no longer purchase the print.

Finding Full-Text outside of MathSciNet

Tarver and Regional Academic Centers Libraries e-Journals

  • list of all electronic journals available to Mercer faculty, staff, and students in Macon and at the Regional Academic Centers
  • make sure you have the complete citation (title, volume, number, date, and page numbers) before searching
  • using this tool, you can search by journal title or ISSN (International Standard Serial Number), browse by journal title, or browse by journal subject:


  • clicking on the drop-down arrow for Physical Sciences & Mathematics will take you directly to over 1,300 math titles
  • follow the links (journal might appear in more than one database) to identify full-text
  • be sure and check the date on the far left-hand side of the screen against the date of the journal you need to find
  • the word present is highlighted in hopes of attracting your attention to the most currently available journals
  • if the journal is not available online, click on the link to view print holdings of the title


Library Catalog

  • the library might have a subscription to a print copy of the journal
  • select the tab for journal title and then type in the journal name


Where Are They?

  • journals are arranged alphabetically by title on the first floor of the Tarver Library
  • current journals are in the center of the floor
  • lifting the top of the display shelf reveals older issues underneath

Books and e-Books


  • math books are on the 3rd floor of the Tarver Library:
  • math Reference books, generally are not checked out, are also in QA but are on the 2nd floor of the Tarver Library
  • in case you didn't know, you can now limit your search to materials that are available only in Macon


The library also has a large selection of e-books. The quickest way to search these is to browse ebrary to find electronic books on Math.

Need more help?

  • Math help will have to come from someone who knows the field.
  • Theresa is available to help with any of the library stuff. Be sure and ask for help before you get frustrated.
  • You can also IM the Ask Jack/Reference Desk (until 9:00 PM on Thursday evening and 2:00 until 9:00 on Sunday) if you need help.
  • Theresa will be over in the UC Thursday night and Saturday for basketball games, but she can monitor e-mail. If you need help with the library portion, just shoot her an