Many of you may be familiar with PROMYS, a camp based out of Boston University which teaches number theory to high school students each summer. Students applying to the program are asked to submit their attempts at a problem sheet. The purpose of this is to see what ideas they come up with on their own, and they should not be asking for help on websites like this one. The due date for the application is March 15 2021, so the relevant timeframe is the next two weeks.

Here are the problems.

This is a request to keep an eye out for these problems. If they show up, please flag them and please contact [email protected] if you see them.

  • 17
    $\begingroup$ My connection to this is that I was a PROMYS counselor 1999-2002, was an instructor in 2018 and will be again in 2021, and am generally a huge fan of PROMYS. $\endgroup$ Mar 4, 2021 at 15:21
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ Questions 4, 5, and 9 have been posted to MathOverflow by the same user. Question 10 has been posted to math.stackexchange. These are just the ones I've noticed, there may be others. $\endgroup$ Mar 4, 2021 at 21:41
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I have written to the address you give, and I included links to the posts. $\endgroup$ Mar 4, 2021 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you @GerryMyerson . It sounds like I need to repost this at meta.MO $\endgroup$ Mar 5, 2021 at 0:07
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for the list David. Will keep an eye out, but would like to congratulate those who formulated these questions, absolute genius. What I am like about these questions is some of them need so little machinery to formulate yet are so satisfying and deep in terms of mathematical thought. $\endgroup$ Mar 5, 2021 at 6:56
  • 34
    $\begingroup$ Many of these problems have been used by PROMYS before, which doesn't work very well with the Math StackExchange policy. I mean, I'm against cheating. But there's a bit of a difference between "We wrote this problem, and don't want people to answer it in the next few weeks" and "This problem, which has been around on the internet and possibly discussed on MSE before, should be off-limits for the next few weeks." $\endgroup$ Mar 6, 2021 at 1:20
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the tip. I just flagged a rephrasal of problem 5 which I had answered yesterday. (It's also been posted to puzzling.stackexchange.) I'll leave my answer up for now and let the mods sort it out. $\endgroup$ Mar 6, 2021 at 21:59
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I share Misha's reservations but will keep an eye out. And they are wonderful problems. It must be a good program; I had not heard of it before. Thank you. $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2021 at 17:52
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Let's not disallow these questions. If I find one of these questions interesting and want it answered, I do not want my question reported. $\endgroup$
    – forest
    Mar 9, 2021 at 7:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hi! I saw one of the problems on mathoverflow (mathoverflow.net/questions/295636/…) and I'm not sure how to flag it... can someone do that for me? $\endgroup$ Mar 11, 2021 at 4:49
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have enough rep to flag that either @DandelionDreams, but you're right it should be flagged $\endgroup$
    – Some Guy
    Mar 11, 2021 at 6:44
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ It doesn't make sense to flag a question that precedes the test. $\endgroup$
    – Oussema
    Mar 11, 2021 at 19:59
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ @DavidESpeyer the Journal of Irreproducible Results question was on my PROMYS application... over 20 years ago! The world has changed a lot since then and so has mathematics. It's simply not reasonable these days to expect that the Internet will not be used to solve problems, or that the integrity of 20-year-old questions will be protected... $\endgroup$
    – user7530
    Mar 15, 2021 at 6:46


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