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Alibaba global math competition opens applications for math enthusiasts

Math enthusiasts from all background can register from this week until early April on the website of Alibaba’s research institute DAMO Academy.

Alibaba Group’s global mathematics competition recently opened for applications, calling math enthusiasts and developers worldwide to join and solve math challenges.

Math enthusiasts from all background can register from this week until early April on the website of Alibaba’s research institute DAMO Academy. Entrants must pass a preliminary round based on real-world math problems before reaching the final, which tests foundational math skills across five subject areas, all conducted online.

This year, the competition will, for the first time, include a track for AI models where individual developers, academic institutes and AI startups from all backgrounds can participate. In the preliminary round, they can tap any large language models to solve the math problems in under 48 hours.

The judging panel will then evaluate the answers based on the models’ innovation, logic and efficiency in solving the mathematical challenges. The winner in the AI model track can win a prize of $10,000.

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“The introduction of AI brings a new perspective to the competition, helping the public become more aware of the capabilities of AI in logical thinking and problem-solving,” the Alibaba Global Mathematics Competition organizing committee told Alizila.

It’s still hard for AI models to solve complex mathematics problems due to less robust reasoning skills. As math involves multiple steps of reasoning and planning, most AI models are not yet capable of solving undergraduate-level or more advanced mathematical problems.

“Perhaps in the near future, AI will have the ability to solve math competitions better than humans, and we will see some early signs of this in the current competition,” said Ivan Fesenko, a member of the Alibaba Global Mathematics Competition’s steering committee and professor at the Institute of Theoretical Sciences at Westlake University.

Open to All

The competition, hosted by Alibaba Philanthropy and its research institute DAMO Academy, has attracted an annual participation of over 50,000 people from more than 70 countries and regions in the six years since its launch.

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

There’s no entry requirement or admission fee. Applications will remain open until April 11, 2024. The preliminary round will take place between April 13 to 15, 2024 and the final round is slated for June 22, 2024.

The top five scorers in the final round will be crowned with gold awards and a grand prize of $30,000 each. Ten silver winners will each claim $15,000 in prize money, while 20 bronze award winners will each receive $8000.

Last year, the competition crowned its youngest-ever prize winner to score full marks, a 17-year-old sophomore from Peking University that stood out among 685 contestants across 19 countries.

Visit this website to register for the competition: https://damo.alibaba.com/alibaba-global-mathematics-competition?language=en.

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