The Hardest Math Problem Contest
How to Enter: Challenge 1
How to Enter: Challenge 2
Eligibility: Challenge 1
Eligibility: Challenge 2
Teacher Winners: Challenge 1
Student & Teacher Winners: Challenge 2 Prizes/Odds
Judging: Challenge 2
- Mathematical Reasoning (0-10 Points)
- Takes valid, logical steps to solve the problem (and points out patterns or other math concepts where applicable)
- Uses math vocabulary
- Examples: quotient, quantity, dependent variable, distributive property
- Clarity, Organization, and Precision (0-10 Points)
- Explains their steps in an organized way
- Balances the amount of detail
- Enough detail to be clear (reader doesn’t have to figure anything out themselves), but not so much detail that it’s repetitive, confusing, or tiring to read
- Attaches units to all numbers
- Examples: hours/hrs, dollars/$, inch/”/in
- Gives context of each number, especially when first used
- Example: saying “the 5 cups of flour remaining in the bag” instead of just “5”
- Presentation (0-5 Points)
- Essay Length: half a page minimum; two pages maximum
- Calculations (or graphs, charts, or diagrams, as applicable) are integrated into the essay body (not on a separate sheet)
- BONUS—Innovation of Approach (0-3 Points)
- Creative, non-traditional, or exceptionally efficient
The decisions of the judges are final and binding. TAF reserves the right to not award all prizes if, in their sole discretion, they do not receive a sufficient number of qualified and eligible entries.
Code of Conduct
- Treat other participants, judges, mentors, staff, and volunteers with respect, regardless of race, sex, creed, ability or any other factor.
- Encourage good sportsmanship in all participants and assist in maintaining a respectful environment for all. Provide positive support and encouragement to team members, and other teams alike.
- Refrain from making offensive or disparaging remarks about another team’s project or participants.
- Refrain from making offensive or disparaging remarks about individuals supporting the HMP including but not limited to: personnel, staff, mentors, judges, and volunteers. Recognize that all supporters of the HMP are conducting themselves so as to organize and manage the best academic challenge possible. If you have a concern with the manner in which the HMP is conducted, follow the petition process mentioned below to bring up a specific concern.
- Be courteous to opposing teams, judges, mentors, staff, and volunteers at all times.
- Recognize that judges are donating their time and are doing their best to make unbiased, fair and timely decisions.
- Accept the decisions of judges as final, and with good grace. If you have a specific concern with how the judging process was conducted you may bring it up with the HMP staff following the petition process mentioned below.
- Offensive comments related to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, or religion
- Deliberate intimidation
- Unwanted photography or recording
- Inappropriate physical contact
- Unwelcome sexual attention
- Sexual imagery and language in public spaces