Olympic math boot camp

Olympic Math Boot Camp

Dr. Titu Andreescu
University of Texas at Dallas, AMSP Director

  • US IMO Team Leader (1995 – 2002)
  • Director, MAA American Mathematics Competitions (1998 – 2003)
  • Director, Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (1995 – 2002)
  • Coach of the US IMO Team (1993 – 2006)
  • Member of the IMO Advisory Board (2002 – 2006)
  • Chair of the USAMO Committee (1996 – 2004)
  • MAA Sliffe Award winner for Distinguished Teaching

Olympic Math Boot Camp

Dr. Mircea Becheanu
University of Bucharest, Romania

  • Deputy Chairman of the Romanian Mathematical Society (1995 – present)
  • Coach of the IMO Romanian team (1996-2002)
  • Leader of the IMO Romanian team (1988, 1995-2002)
  • Member of the IMO Advisory Board (1998-2002)
  • Member of the IMO Problem Selection Committee (2003, 2004, 2005)

Olympic Math Boot Camp

Bogdan Enescu
National College BP Hasdeu, Romania

  • IMO Gold Medalist (1978), Bronze Medalist (1977, 1979)
  • Coach of the Romanian IMO team (1989 – present)
  • Deputy Leader of the Romanian IMO team(1995 – present)
  • MOSP invited speaker(1999, 2001, 2002)

Olympic Math Boot Camp

Dr. Jonathan Kane
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

  • Member of the AIME Committee (2004 – present)
  • Co-founder of the Purple Comet! Math Meet (formerly the UWW-UTD Math Meet)

Olympic Math Boot Camp

Dr. Oleg Mushkarov
Bulgarian Academy of Science; Institute of Mathematics and Informatics
Dr. Mushkarov is a full professor at the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IMI-BAS) and a corresponding member of BAS. Currently, he is the Head of the Analysis, Geometry and Topology Department and Deputy Director of IMI-BAS. His main research interests are in the areas of Complex Analysis, Complex Differential Geometry, and Twistor theory.
Another important aspect of Oleg’s professional involvements is his work with mathematically gifted high school students. He himself benefited from the Bulgarian system of identifying mathematical talents at an early age leading to his participation in IMO’1969, Romania. Since then he has been involved in numerous activities dealing with nurturing and developing young mathematical talents.

  • Coach of the Bulgarian Balkan Mathematical Olympiad Team (1989 – 1993)
  • Coach of the Bulgarian IMO Team (1994 – 1998)
  • Vice President of Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians (2001 – 2013)
  • Deputy Director of IMI-BAS (2007 – present)

Olympic Math Boot Camp

Dr. Mirroslav Yotov
Florida International University

  • IMO Bronze Medalist (1981)
  • Instructor for COSMOS-UC Irvine (2000-2004)
  • Math Circles leader in Miami (2005 – present)
  • Teacher Math Circle network member (2008-present)

Olympic Math Boot Camp

Cerasela Tesleanu
Stanislas College, Canada

  • Master in Education with a focus on the Didactics of Mathematics – University of Quebec at Montreal
  • Specialized Graduate Diploma (DESS) in Human Behavioral Intervention for children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder – University of Quebec at Montreal
  • Undergraduate Diploma in International Business and Business Management – Haute École Commerciale Montreal;
  • Bachelor in Mathematics – University of Bucharest – Romania
  • Presently, I work as a Mathematics teacher at Stanislas College in Montreal, Canada, specializing in various Math and Algorithmics courses for students with varying levels of development
  • AwsomeMath Summer Program 2019-Instructor
  • In Romania I was a mathematics coach successfully training gifted students for national and international competitions. In 2008, four of my students qualified in the Romanian Math Team for the JMBO and obtained Gold and Silver Medals in the same competition
  • Recipient of the Prize of Excellence in Education by the Ministry of Education in Romania, in 2007 and 2008 and by the Prime-Minister of Romania in 2008

Olympic Math Boot Camp

Radu Bumbacea
Leeds University, UK
Radu is a former IMO gold medalist (2010,2012) and silver medalist (2011). Having studied mathematics and philosophy at Cambridge University, he now divides his time between training gifted students in mathematics, both for the Romanian team and at AwesomeMath, and pursuing philosophy further.

Olympic Math Boot Camp

Dr. Enrique Trevino
Lake Forest College
Dr. Enrique Trevino is an assistant professor of mathematics at Lake Forest College. Dr. Trevino completed his Ph.D at Dartmouth College in 2011 working in analytic number theory. He participated in the Mexican Mathematical Olympiad in 2000 and 2001 earning silver and gold medals, respectively. Since 2003 he has been preparing students from Chihuahua to compete in the Mexican Mathematical Olympiad. Starting in 2016, Dr. Trevino has been part of the Mexican Mathematical Olympiad Committee. He also participated as a problem coordinator in the International Mathematical Olympiad in 2005, the Ibero-American Mathematical Olympiad in 2009, and the Mexican Mathematical Olympiad in 2015.

Olympic Math Boot Camp

The Mathematical Olympiad Program (abbreviated MOP) is a 3-week intensive problem solving camp held at the Carnegie Mellon University to help high school students prepare for math olympiads, especially the International Mathematical Olympiad. While the program is free to participants, invitations are limited to the top finishers on the USAMO.

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One purpose of MOP is to select and train the US team for the International Mathematical Olympiad. This is done at the start of MOP via a team selection test (TST). The results of the USAMO and the TST are weighted equally when selecting the US IMO team.

The other important purpose of MOP is to train younger students in Olympiad-level problem solving and broaden their mathematical horizons.


MOP is currently held at the Carnegie Mellon University. While the dates vary from year to year, MOP is generally held in the last three weeks of June.

Invitations are extended to the top non-Canadian finishers on USAMO. Students receiving invitations can be divided into four groups:

USAMO winners: The Americans among the top 12 finishers on USAMO are invited to MOP regardless of their age. Additionally, they are invited to take the Team Selection Test and are viewed as potential members of the American IMO team for that year.

Top non-senior USAMO finishers: In addition to the winners, the next 15 or so non-senior non-Canadian finishers are invited to attend MOP. This group is viewed as potential IMO team members for future years, although in extreme circumstances (including 2006) IMO team members for that year have been drawn from this pool.

Top 30 freshmen and sophomores: The top 30 freshmen on USAMO and USAJMO are invited to attend MOP with the goal of providing them with a foundation in Olympiad-level mathematics.

In 2008, another group was added. The girls who will be representing the United States at the China Girls Math Olympiad will attend MOP to prepare for that contest. This is group is colloquially known as Pink MOP.

Structure of the Program

MOP is divided into three groups that roughly correspond with the first three kinds of invitations. Black MOP consists of that year's USAMO winners and contains the IMO team members and alternates.

Blue MOP is for the second group of invitees and mostly consists of students who just completed their junior or sophomore year of high school, although in exceptional cases some 7th and 8th graders have participated.

Finally, Red MOP consists of all the freshmen who were invited to participate, as well as Girls' Math Olympiad participants.

Students and instructors have discretion in selecting which group they're part of and may choose to transfer part way through the program; this generally involves members of Black dropping down to Blue or occasionally members of Red promoting themselves to Blue. The three groups take classes and practice tests separately, are given different levels of material to practice with, and to a certain extent are distinct socially.

Each Weekday consists of three instructional sessions: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM, 10:15 AM – 11:45 AM, and 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM. Classes usually consist of a lecture followed by a problem set. Solutions are often presented by students with the supervision of an instructor.

Timed and graded olympiad style tests are an integral part of MOP. Every few days, a 4-hour, 4-question test is administered in place of the afternoon lecture, and is graded with comments within 2-3 days.

Team tests also occur weekly. Students are divided into teams of five, in 2008 consisting of one or two blue MOPpers each, and work on a set of thirty problems for approximately half a week.

On the day of the contest, the teams present solutions to problems which have not yet been presented, in arbitrary order.

The fun starts when all of the easy problems have been taken, and teams resort to certain creative methods in order to solve a problem.

The combination of these makes MOP an extraordinarily intense experience.

One participant at 2007 MOP calculated that by the end of the second week members of Blue MOP had already spent more time in a classroom than most calculus classes do in a year, and by the end of the third week participants had spent 170 hours over 19 days either in class or taking practice test for an average of roughly 9 hours a day of math- and that's before time spent doing problem sets and working on the team contest outside of class is included.

History and Culture

MOP was created in 1974 as a training camp for the first United States IMO team.

See also:  When to use an apostrophe

At the time that MOP was established the official name was simply “Mathematical Olympiad Program”, which was the source of the original abbreviation “MOP”. At some point, however, the official name was changed to “Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program” and the official abbreviation became “MOSP”.

Despite this change, participants and alumni almost universally continued to refer to the program as “MOP”. Although some administrators continued to use “MOSP” in official documents, students used “MOP” in every setting. One former participant testifies, “Any lost souls using the other appellation are looked upon with pity and regret.

” Finally, the administration relented in 2017, officially renaming the camp as “MOP”.

Previous locations for MOP have included IMSA, Rutgers University, West Point (US Military Academy), and the US Naval Academy.

MOP is not only a training camp but also a competition in and of itself. In addition to the regularly administered practice olympiads and the weekly team contest, returning students write and administer the ELMO (an amorphous acronym) and the USEMO (the USEless Math Olympiad).

Popular pastimes at MOP include chess, card games, Mafia (which was banned after a police incident in 2007), Starcraft (which was explicitly banned in 2009) and Ultimate Frisbee.

Eleanor one of select few UK students to reap benefits of Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp

KING’S Ely Senior student Eleanor MacGillivray was one of only two Year 10 girls from the whole of the UK to be invited to attend this summer’s Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp.

The programme was organised by the UK Mathematics Trust and took place at The Queen’s College, Oxford during the summer holidays.

Eleanor, who is now in Year 11, said: “I felt very honoured to be there. The camp was highly intensive, with a full week of problem solving and lectures on topics such as combinatorics and number theory, all given by renowned mathematicians, many of whom have represented the UK in previous International Maths Olympiads.

“It was fantastic to meet other young people from the UK who share my love of Maths, and to be able to exchange problems and solutions with them. The week was an incredible experience in the magnificent environment of Oxford University, and I relished every minute!

Mathematical Olympiad Program

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The Mathematical Olympiad Program (abbreviated MOP, formerly called the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program, abbreviated MOSP) is an intensive summer program held at Carnegie Mellon University. The main purpose of MOP, held since 1974, is to select and train the six members of the U.S. team for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). Students qualify for the program by taking the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO). The top twelve American scorers from all grades form the “black” group. The approximately eighteen next highest American scorers among students from 11th grade and under form the “blue” group.

In 2004, the program was expanded to include approximately thirty of the highest-scoring American freshmen and sophomores each year, the “red” group; this was later split into two, forming the “green” group, which consists of approximately fifteen of the highest-scoring freshmen and sophomores who have qualified through the USAMO, and the “red” group, which consists of those who have qualified through the USAJMO. The colorful designations of these groups were adapted from Karate. In 2013, the red and green groups were unified. Also, with the new system the Black Group includes more or less only the IMO team, which is not necessarily all USAMO winners.

Until 2011, only Black MOPpers were eligible for the selection to the USA IMO team, determined by combining USAMO results with results of a similar competition called the Team Selection Test (TST).

From 2011, a new competition called the Team Selection Test Selection Test (TSTST) was established; this competition is open for any of the participants of MOP, and along with results from the USAMO, determines the students who take the TSTs.

This ultimately, along with the USAMO and MOP competitions, determines the IMO team.

Canadians are allowed to write the USAMO but not to participate in MOP unless they are U.S. residents. Occasionally, when Canadians are amongst the USAMO winners, top scoring honorable mentions are added to the black group.

These additional students are also eligible for the IMO team. In 2005, such a student did qualify for the team and went on to win a gold medal at the IMO.

Under the TSTST system, effective 2011, honorable mentions can qualify for the IMO team and will be placed in the black group if they do so.

Cutoff scores

Red cutoffs 2010 onward refer to USAJMO while 2009 before refer to USAMO.







2002[1] 35
2003[2] 28
2004[3] 24
2005[4] 29
2006[5] 25 18 9
2007[6] 23 17 9
2008[7] 28 20 10 2
2009[8] 27 18 8 8
2010[9] 29 23 18 35 10
2011 35 28 21 28 6
2012 35 22 17 21 5
2013 30 22 14 29 10
2014 32 22 13 25 2
2015 27 16 11 27 10
2016 28 20 14 21 3
2017 25 20 16 36 6
2018 24 22 15 27 1
2019 32 24 22 33 25

However, the cutoff scores for groups are not entirely rigid; some students are moved between groups at the beginning of the program. However, they do dictate who is invited to the program.

As part of the process of selecting members of the European Girls Math Olympiad, many years the Math Olympiad program has additionally invited female students to the camp. In 2017, the cutoff was 13 for the USAMO and 20 for the USAJMO.

In 2018, the cutoff was 8 for USAMO and 11 for USAJMO.


The first few MOPs were held at Rutgers University. After that, and until 1995, the program was alternately hosted by the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in even-numbered years and by the United States Military Academy at West Point in odd-numbered years.

The 1995 MOP was held at IMSA in Aurora, Illinois, where then-MOP director Titu Andreescu was a member of the math faculty. Most of the MOPs from 1996 on forward have been held in Lincoln, Nebraska where the AMC headquarters is located. An exception was made in the summer of 2001, as the United States would be hosting the IMO that year in Washington, D.C.

, and nearby Georgetown was selected as the location for MOP. Starting in 2015, MOP was held at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Year-round MOP

For years, the idea of extending the training program for the U.S. IMO team was discussed. During the 2004-2005 school year, U.S.

IMO team coach Zuming Feng directed the Winter Olympiad Training Program, utilizing the Art of Problem Solving (AoPS) site for discussion purposes. The program was short-lived, lasting only that year.

MOP participants are now able to participate for free in Art of Problem Solving's WOOT program for year-round olympiad training.


  1. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2010-01-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2010-01-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ “Archived copy”.

    Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2010-01-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

  4. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2010-01-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ “Community”. Art of Problem Solving. Retrieved 2017-07-23.

  6. ^ “Community”. Art of Problem Solving. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  7. ^ “Community”. Art of Problem Solving. 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  8. ^ “Community”. Art of Problem Solving. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  9. ^ “Community”. Art of Problem Solving. Retrieved 2017-07-23.

External links

  • Art of Problem Solving's WOOT Program
  • Anders Kaseorg's MOPper World
  • Michael Freiman's MOP Literature Page (archived)
  • Archive of Problems and Solutions to the U.S. IMO Team Selection Tests

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