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Maths Quiz 2000 Competition Held on the Internet

Published December 18, 2000

December 18, 2000–Wolfram Research was a cosponsor of the first Maths Quiz event held over the internet on Monday, December 4, 2000. Maths Quiz 2000 (MQ2000) was a 24-hour mathematics competition organized by the Centre de Recerca Matemàtica in Catalonia as part of the World Mathematical Year 2000 celebrations.

“If a plane sextic has no singularities except for nine cusps, how many double tangents does it have?” With the help of their supporting teams and other mathematical references, 378 participants from 65 different countries spent 24 hours trying to answer questions such as this and others from geometry, number theory, algebra, and the history of mathematics.

The winners were announced on Wednesday, December 13, 2000, and received prizes including Sun workstations and licensed copies of Mathematica 4. In the final comments on the MQ2000 web site, competition participants wrote in to report their enjoyment of the challenging event. Said one participant, “If the purpose of the competition is to improve the mathematical community bonds, you have succeeded in our institution. We have merged two teams in one.”

With the success of this first competition, it is widely hoped that Maths Quiz will continue to be held as an annual event.