Friday, May 25, 2018

Mathematical Olympiads for Undergrad Students

Mathematical Olympiads are popular among high school students. However, there is nothing similar for college students, except maybe IMC. Even IMC is not popular. It focuses mostly on the same kind of problems as high school Olympiads, and you can not participate if you are over 23 years old. In addition, it is organized by country, as opposed to globally, thus favoring countries with a large population. Topics such as probability are never considered.
This is an opportunity to create Mathematical Olympiads for college students, with no age or country restrictions. It could be organized online, offering interesting, varied, and challenging problems, allowing participants to read literature about the problems, and have a few weeks to submit a solution. In short, something like Kaggle competitions, except that Kaggle focuses exclusively on machine learning, coding, and data processing. Not sure where the funding could come from, but if I decided to organize this kind of competition, I would be able to fund it myself. 
Below are examples of problems that I would propose. They do not require knowledge beyond advanced undergrad level in math, statistics, or probabilities. They are are more difficult, and more original, than typical exam questions. Participants are encouraged to use tools such as WolframAlpha to automatically compute integrals or solve systems of equations involved in these problems.
Is anyone interested in this new initiative? I could see this helping students not enrolled in a top university, though the majority of winners would probably come from a top school.
To read suggested problems with solution, visit this webpage

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