This is a community created list of Frequently Asked Questions about Art of Problem Solving. If you have a request to edit or add a question on this page, please make it here.
- 1 General
- 1.1 Can I change my username?
- 1.2 What Will Happen to My Account if I change my username?
- 1.3 Why can't I change my profile picture?
- 1.4 Something looks weird (e.g., blurry, missing line, etc.)
- 1.5 What is a 'multi' and can I have one?
- 1.6 Can I make more than one account?
- 1.7 What software does Art of Problem Solving use to run the website?
- 2 Forums
- 2.1 Why can't I use a forum name (or description)?
- 2.2 Why do some posts say they were posted in the future?
- 2.3 Why do some threads have less posts than the number of the latest post?
- 2.4 I've lost admin access to a forum or blog I created, how do I get it back?
- 2.5 What should I do if I find a glitch in the community?
- 2.6 How do I format my post, e.g. bold text, add URLs, etc.?
- 2.7 How do I hide content in the forums?
- 2.8 What is a private message?
- 2.9 I got the message "Too many messages." when trying to send a private message, why?
- 2.10 How do you tell if someone has blocked private messages?
- 2.11 How do you private message yourself?
- 2.12 Posting often makes me a better user, right?
- 2.13 I have posted in a forum, but my post count did not increase. Why?
- 2.14 I believe a post needs corrective action. What should I do?
- 2.15 How do I post images?
- 2.16 How do I become a moderator of a forum?
- 2.17 Many users often ask and talk about "forum rankings." How do I see it?
- 3 Blogs
- 4 Alcumus
- 5 Contests
- 5.1 Where can I find past contest questions and solutions?
- 5.2 How do I get problems onto the contest page?
- 5.3 What are the guidelines for posting problems to be added to the contests section?
- 5.4 Why are the contest collections missing many contest questions ?
- 5.5 Where are all of the mock contests?
- 5.6 How can I host a mock contest?
- 6 LaTeX and Asymptote
- 6.1 What is LaTeX, and how do I use it?
- 6.2 How can I download LaTeX to use on the forums?
- 6.3 How can I download LaTeX for personal use?
- 6.4 Where can I find a list of LaTeX commands?
- 6.5 Where can I test LaTeX commands?
- 6.6 Where can I find examples of Asymptote diagrams and code?
- 6.7 How can I draw 3D diagrams?
- 6.8 What is the cse5 package?
- 6.9 What is the olympiad package?
- 6.10 I have a question about LaTeX or asymptote, and it's not answered in the wiki. What should I do?
- 7 AoPSWiki
- 8 Miscellaneous
- 9 AoPS Acronyms
- 10 FTW!
- 11 School
- 11.1 What if I miss a class?
- 11.2 Is there audio or video in class?
- 11.3 What if I want to drop out of a class?
- 11.4 For my homework, there is supposed to be a green bar but it's orange, why?
- 11.5 I need more time for my homework, what should I do?
- 11.6 Why is my post in the AoPS schoolhouse too long?
Can I change my username?
- Yes, it is possible for you to contact AoPS and change your username. However, AoPS typically only changes usernames for privacy reasons (e.g., your current username reveals personal information) or if the username contains inappropriate content. AoPS will not change your username for other reasons (e.g., current username is too "cringy").
What Will Happen to My Account if I change my username?
In the extremely rare case that your username does get switched;
- You will have the same AoPS friends, messages, and post in the my message section
- Your scores or data for Reaper, Greed Control, and For the Win! likely will not be updated
- Your account information will update for AoPS Academy and Beast Academy
Why can't I change my profile picture?
- If you are a new user less than 2 weeks old, you cannot change your profile in any way. You may also be profile picture banned, if your previous profile picture contained inappropriate content. Otherwise, contact AoPS.
Something looks weird (e.g., blurry, missing line, etc.)
- This likely to be because of zoom-in area. Please make sure your zoom level is at 100% or is reset for correct rendering of the web page. If it is at 100% and still doesn't look right, try not to refresh or hard refresh. If it still continues looking weird, follow the instructions here to submit a bug report about it in Site Support.
What is a 'multi' and can I have one?
- A multi stands for multiple accounts. You are not allowed to have multiple accounts; see here for more info.
Can I make more than one account?
- Short answer: No.
- Long answer: Multiple accounts (multis) are banned on AoPS. Having more than one account leads to issues of not remembering on what account you did what. Using multiple accounts in an attempt to "game" the system, (e.g. reaper in some way) or otherwise violate the ToS without consequences will lead to all or some of your accounts being deactivated. If you have already made additional accounts, please choose one account and stop using the others.
And, with more than one account, it may cause problems with the system and interfere with the programs that are running in the background to provide a seamless experience. And so, if you have another account that you are using in addition to the one that you already have, please, stop using it. It truly benefits all of us.
What software does Art of Problem Solving use to run the website?
- Search: Solar
- Wiki: MediaWiki
- Asymptote and Latex are generated through their respective binary packages
- Videos: YouTube
- PyWindow: Skulpt
- Classroom and Reaper: Socket.IO
- All other parts of the website are custom built.
Why can't I use a forum name (or description)?
- Your forum name must be unique and it must be between 3 and 50 characters and your forum description must be 240 characters or less.
Why do some posts say they were posted in the future?
- The AoPS clock is based on the official Naval Observatory time. This is considered the most accurate time. If your computer's system clock is behind the correct time, recent posts may indicate they were posted in the future. Please correct your computer's clock or enable clock synchronization so that your clock is always correct. Mac users may wish to check Synchronize your Mac's Clock With A Time Server. Windows users can go here. You can also check the US official time which will also show you how much your clock is off.
Why do some threads have less posts than the number of the latest post?
- This is because of deleted posts. When posts get deleted, their post number is not reused.
I've lost admin access to a forum or blog I created, how do I get it back?
- Please send an email to email@example.com with the issue and URL of your forum. They will research your request and restore admin access to your forum if appropriate.
What should I do if I find a glitch in the community?
- First, search the Site Support forum to check if your issue has already been reported.
- If your issue isn't reported, try refreshing your browser page. Most issues go away after a refresh and there is no need to report the issue unless it continues after you refresh your browser. You can refresh on most browsers in Windows and Chrome OS with Ctrl + R and on Mac with Cmd + R. To Hard Refresh, click Shift between Ctrl/Cmd and R.
- Some commonly known glitches that should not be reported are avatars appearing twice in the topic list or private message, friends appearing more than once in the friend list, the edit icon showing next to a message when it shouldn't, and not being able to search for a forum after going back a page in the community.
How do I format my post, e.g. bold text, add URLs, etc.?
- AoPS is based on a markup language called BBCode. A tutorial of its functions on AoPS and how to use them can be found here.
How do I hide content in the forums?
- Wrap the content you want to hide in [hide] tags. This will make a clickable label that, once clicked, will reveal the content.
- If you want to customize the label, or have it says something other than "Click to reveal hidden text", you can do something like:
[hide="Label to display"]Content[/hide]
- Alternatively, wrap the content you want to hide in [tip] tags. This will make a hoverable label that, once hovered over, will reveal the content.
- If you want to customize the label, instead of saying "Hover for tip", you can do something like:
[tip="Label to display"]Content[/tip]
What is a private message?
A private message (PM) is a message private to specific user(s).
I got the message "Too many messages." when trying to send a private message, why?
- To prevent PM spam abuse like "sfdsfddghfdgjfghjfhgfdhfgsfdfhgsdgsfdgsdfg", users with less than five forum posts are limited to four private messages within a forty-eight hour period.
How do you tell if someone has blocked private messages?
If you're not sure, try to private message them. It should say you can't. Or go to their user page. It should say so (Private message). Finally, you can check their posts, because generally you can private message about a post.
How do you private message yourself?
If you want to private message yourself to remember something, you have to go to one of your posts, and click the PM button in the top right corner. Then you reach a private message screen where you can backspace the text and write your message.
Posting often makes me a better user, right?
- It will depend. Often, it's just the opposite. The quality of your posts matters far more than the number of posts you make. In fact, if you make too many unnecessary and spammy posts, you may find your posting privileges revoked.
I have posted in a forum, but my post count did not increase. Why?
- Some forums, including the Test Forum, Mafia!, Fun Factory, The Learning Forum, and other user created forums, do not count toward total posts.
I believe a post needs corrective action. What should I do?
- If you believe a post needs moderative action, you may report it by clicking the Z icon on the upper-right corner of that post. If it's a minor mistake, you may want to PM the offending user instead and explain how they can make their post better.
How do I post images?
- While AoPS forums have the ability to attach images, we do not generally recommend doing so, as we can not guarantee the images will be available through upgrades, restorations, etc. We also have limited disk space which causes us to remove attachments from time to time. Therefore, we recommend using a third party image hosting solution. There are many options, but we recommend imgur.com.
- Go to https://imgur.com/upload
- Upload your image, and wait for it to complete
- Hover your cursor over the image
- Click the 3 dots in the upper right corner
- Click Get Share Links
- Find the BBCode option, which should start with "[img]", and click the green Copy Link button
- Paste the copied text into your forum or blog post.
- In general, if you have any online image that you want to post, you can right-click on it, click copy image address, and paste it into AoPS, in between an [img][/img] tags.
How do I become a moderator of a forum?
- The creators of user-created forums select moderators in several different ways. Contact the creator(s) of the forum for information.
- To see the list of moderators, click the little i icon on the slight-upper-left corner, next to where the name of that forum is.
- If you are the creator, and want to know how to make a user a moderator, follow these steps:
- Click the little i icon on the slight-upper-left corner, next to where the name of that forum is.
- Below the Permissions section, there should be a list of moderators. Click the pencil button to edit.
Many users often ask and talk about "forum rankings." How do I see it?
- Forum rankings are how forums are ranked. There is no confirmation from a site administrator on how these are ranked, but some users suspect that they are ranked on activity.
- Here is how to view forum rankings:
- Go the the community.
- Scroll down to the section Other Forums and Collections
- In that section, find the folder Other Forums. The direct link is https://artofproblemsolving.com/community/c9
- Scroll down the first few rows of forums until you reach a forum called College
- Every forum after that is user-created and ranked. The first forum after College is the first in rankings, the second one is second, third one is third, etc
How come I can't create a blog?
- In order to be able to create a blog on AoPS, you must be a member of the community for at least 2 weeks, before creating any sort of blog, forum, or etc.
How do I make my blog look nice?
- Many AoPSers make their blogs look nice by applying CSS, which is a high-level stylesheet language. This can be done by typing code into the CSS box in the Blog Control Panel.
- Try copying CSS of other blogs but remember to give them credit!
- The maximum amount of characters for the Post Comment Text, Comments Text, One Comment Text, and No Comments Text is 40 characters.
Why are usernames a different color?
Blogs use a different stylesheet than the rest of the site and blog owners can customize their blog, including some portions of the feed widget, and therefore usernames show differently in a blog than on the community. Additionally, in the forums, black means a regular user, green means a moderator, red means an administrator, and blue means Site Admin.
How is rating computed?
- The rating is more of a prediction of what percentage of problems in the topic the Alcumus engine believes you will get correct. As you get more and more correct, the rating will go up slower and slower. However, if you are predicted to get most correct, and you miss one or two problems, the rating, or prediction of percentage correct, will go down.
I am stuck on a problem, and changing the topic does not change the problem.
- Alcumus provides review problems to make sure you still recall information learned from the past. These problems cannot be skipped unless you go to an entirely different subject.
Where can I find past contest questions and solutions?
- You can find them in the Contest Collections section.
How do I get problems onto the contest page?
- Make a topic for each question in the appropriate forum, copy/paste the urls to the National Olympiad. Your problems may eventually be submitted into the Contest page.
What are the guidelines for posting problems to be added to the contests section?
- Refer to the guidelines in this post.
Why are the contest collections missing many contest questions ?
- Generally, it is because users have not yet posted them onto the wiki (translation difficulties, not having access to the actual problems, lack of interest, etc). If you have a copy, please post the problems in the Community Section! In some cases, however, problems may be missing due to copyright claims from maths organizations.
Where are all of the mock contests?
- User-generated mock contests are now in its separate subforum, AoPS Mock Contests. Please use that forum for creating, hosting, participating in, or recruiting writers/test solvers for mock contests.
How can I host a mock contest?
- See posts on writing a mock contest and Tips for Organizing a Mock Contest.
LaTeX and Asymptote
What is LaTeX, and how do I use it?
- is a typesetting markup language and document preparation system. It is widely used for typesetting expressions containing mathematical formulae. AoPS LaTeX Quick Start Video. See also LaTeX:About.
How can I download LaTeX to use on the forums?
- There are actually no downloads necessary; the forums and the wiki renders LaTeX commands between dollar signs.
How can I download LaTeX for personal use?
Where can I find a list of LaTeX commands?
- See here.
Where can I test LaTeX commands?
- Sandbox or TeXeR. You can also use our Test Forum.
Where can I find examples of Asymptote diagrams and code?
- Search this wiki for the <asy> tag or the Forums for the [asy] tag. See also these examples and this article (click on the images to obtain the code). See also this Quick Start Asymptote Video.
How can I draw 3D diagrams?
What is the cse5 package?
- See here. The package contains a set of shorthand commands that implement the behavior of usual commands, for example D() for draw() and dot(), and so forth.
What is the olympiad package?
- See here. The package contains a set of commands useful for drawing diagrams related to olympiad geometry problems.
I have a question about LaTeX or asymptote, and it's not answered in the wiki. What should I do?
- Go here. This is a forum for and Asymptote. If you have a question, search to see if it's been asked before, and, if not, you can make a new post.
How do I sign posts on the discussion forums if I have a question?
Type four tildes (~) and it will sign for you.
Is there a guide for wiki syntax?
- See wiki markup, AoPS_Wiki:Tutorial, and Help:Contents.
What do I do if I see a mistake in the wiki?
Click "edit" and correct the error. If it's just a typo, check the "This is a minor edit" box.
What if I need more information because I suspect it's a mistake, but I'm not sure?
Post it on the discussion board! Also, note that if it is about contests, many contests release their questions after the contest, so you can double-check there.
Is it possible to join the AoPS Staff?
- Yes. Mr. Rusczyk sometimes hires college students to work as interns, graders, and teaching assistants. You must be at least in the second semester of your senior year of high school and you must be at least 18. See the careers page for more information.
What is the minimum age to be an assistant in an Art of Problem Solving class?
- You must have graduated from high school, or at least be in the second term of your senior year.
- AFK- Away from keyboard, inactive
- AFAIK- As far as I know
- AoPS- Art of Problem Solving
- AIME- American Invitational Mathematics Examination
- admin(s)- Administrator(s)
- AMC- American Math Competitions
- AMO- USA Mathematical Olympiad
- ATM- At the Moment/Automated teller machine
- ASAP-As soon as possible
- brb- Be right back
- BTW- By the way
- CEMC - Centre for Mathematics and Computing
- Combi - Combinatorics (Counting and Probability)
- C&M - Competitions and Marathons!
- C&P or C+P or CP - Counting and Probability or Contests and Programs
- cbrt - Cube Root
- CD - Civil Discourse [a debate forum]
- CS&I - Computer Science and Informatics
- DHR - Distinguished Honor Roll
- dw - don't worry
- EBWOP- Editing by way of post(Used commonly in Mafia)
- FF- Fun Factory
- FTFY - Fixed that for you
- FTW- For the Win, a game on AoPS
- GC - Greed Control, a game on AoPS
- gg- Good Game
- gj- Good Job
- glhf-Good Luck Have Fun
- gtg - Got to go
- HAY/hbu- How about you?
- HR - Honor Roll
- HSM - High School Math Forum
- HSO - High School Olympiads Forum
- ID(R or E)C-I Don't (Really or Even) Care
- IDC-I Don't care
- ID(R or E)K-I Don't (Really or Even) Know
- IDK-I Don't Know
- iff-If and only if
- IIRC- If I recall correctly
- IKR- I know, right?
- IMO- In my opinion (or International Math Olympiad, depending on context)
- IMHO- In my humble/honest opinion
- JK- Just kidding
- JMO- United States of America Junior Mathematical Olympiad
- lol- Laugh Out Loud
- MC- Mathcounts, a popular math contest for Middle School students.
- NFL- Not for long/No friends left/National Football League
- mod(s)- Moderator(s)
- MOEMS- Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools
- MO(S)P- Mathematical Olympiad (Summer) Program
- MSM- Middle School Math Forum
- NA- Not Available
- NGL- Not Gonna Lie
- NIMO- National Internet Math Olympiad
- NT- Number Theory
- OBC- Online by computer
- OMG- Oh My Gosh
- OMO-Online Math Open
- OP- Original Poster/Original Post/Original Problem, or Overpowered/Overpowering
- QED- Quod erat demonstrandum, Latin for "That which was to be demonstrated, has been demonstrated" (Or for short, "That which was to be demonstrated."); some English mathematicians use it as an acronym for Quite Elegantly Done
- QS&A- Questions, Suggestions, and Announcements Forum
- ro(t)fl - Rolling on the floor laughing
- smh - Shake my head/somehow
- sqrt - Square root
- Sticky- A post pinned to the top of a forum - a thing you really should read
- SS - Site Support Forum
- ToS- Terms of Service - a thing you really should read
- USA(J)MO- USA (Junior) Mathematical Olympiad
- V/LA- Vacation or long absence/limited access
- WDYM- What do you mean?
- WIP- Work in progress
- WLOG- Without loss of generality
- WTMLOG- Without too much loss of generality
- WOOT - Worldwide Online Olympiad Training
- wrt- With respect to
- wtg - Way to go
- TRT- The Round Table [another debate forum, which arose first]
- ty- Thank you
- tytia- Thank you, that is all
- tysm- Thank you so much
- ttyl- Talk to you later
- xD/XD- Bursting laugh (tilt your head sideways to see why it is so.)
- TL;DR- Too long; don't read (a summary of the associated text)
- yw- You're welcome
Please see the For the Win! FAQ for many common questions. (To get to the FAQ, click on the three lines in the top left and then on FAQ).
Please refer to the AoPS Classes Handbook in the dropdown menu under "ONLINE SCHOOL."
What if I miss a class?
- There are classroom transcripts available under My Classes, available at the top right of the web site. You can view these transcripts in order to review any missed material. Keep in mind, though, that whispers (Things the instructors say to you, and only you, to help you understand stuff) won't be shown, and you won't get to ask questions. However, class moves quicker! You can also ask questions on the class message board. Don't worry, though, classroom participation usually isn't weighted heavily.
Is there audio or video in class?
- For classes that runs online normally, there is generally no audio or video in the class. The classes are generally text and image based, in an interactive chat room environment, which allows students to ask questions at any time during the class. Classes taken at the AoPS Academy Virtual Campus will have video. During the COVID-19 crisis, all AoPS Academy classes are running online using the Zoom video conferencing platform. However, there are AoPS videos with audio in some classes, and they can be very helpful, in case the class material doesn't seem easy.
What if I want to drop out of a class?
- For any course with more than 2 classes, students can drop the course any time before the third class begins and receive a full refund. No drops are allowed after the third class has started. To drop the class, go to the My Classes section by clicking the My Classes link at the top-right of the website. Then find the area on the right side of the page that lets you drop the class. A refund will be processed within 10 business days.
For my homework, there is supposed to be a green bar but it's orange, why?
- The bar turns green if and only if the required writing problem(s) is/are attempted.
I need more time for my homework, what should I do?
- There is a "Request Extension" button in the homework tab of your class. This will automatically extend the due date to 2 days after the normal deadline. If you want more time you need to ask for it in the little comment box, stating the reason why you want the extension, and how much time you want. This request will be looked at by the teachers and they will decide if you get the extension or not. Note that you can only use this button 3 or 2 times depending on how many weeks your class is. After, you will need administrator approval.
- Otherwise, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your username, class name and ID (the number in the class page URL after https://artofproblemsolving.com/class/) and reason for extension. Someone should get back to you within a couple days.
Why is my post in the AoPS schoolhouse too long?
- The minimum number number of characters allowed in an individual post in the AoPS Schoolhouse is 1 character. The maximum number of characters allowed in an individual post in the AoPS Schoolhouse is 512 characters.