Math Mavens: Alibaba’s Global Mathematics Competition Enters Final Round

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Math Mavens: Alibaba’s Global Mathematics Competition Enters Final Round

  • Nearly 700 participants from 19 countries will battle for a grand prize of $40,000
  • Over 70% of the entrants are non-professional math enthusiasts, some as young as 7 years old

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Alibaba Group’s global mathematics competition enters its final round later this month with mathletes battling for the top prize of $40,000.

Alibaba’s research institute DAMO Academy unveiled the qualifying-round results from the annual tournament last week. Hailing from 19 countries on three continents, the 685 finalists remain in the competition from among 50,000 entrants in the qualifiers.

In the five years since its launch, the contest of mathematical problem-solving and logic has attracted more than 250,000 participants from over 70 countries and regions.

“The goal of the competition is to promote mathematics research and education and call for a deeper understanding and appreciation of math among the general public,” the Alibaba Global Mathematics Competition organizing committee told Alizila.

The tournament consists of two rounds: an online open-book qualifier based on real-world math problems and a final designed to test foundational math skills across five subject areas.

There’s no entry requirement nor admission fee required for the competition. Over 70% of the participants this year are non-professional math enthusiasts and contestants’ ages range from 7 to 67 years old.

The final round of the competition will take place over eight hours online on June 17, according to DAMO Academy.

Math For Everyone

The competition has drawn a following among global math enthusiasts and attracted participation from people from all walks of life, including doctors, navy sailors and delivery workers.

A question in this year’s qualifying round was even submitted by a member of the public instead of mathematicians. It asked participants to calculate how to maximize the chances of winning a card game with probability analysis.

There is also an open-ended question that asks participants to show their appreciation of mathematics through mathematical expressions such as functions or equations.

While everyone can enter the competition and move up the ranks, winning is another matter.

Previous winners of the competition come from top global academic institutions, such as Peking University, Princeton and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Discover more about Alibaba’s commitment to research and development here 

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