Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program

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The Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (abbreviated MOP) is a 3-week intensive problem solving camp held at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln to help high school students prepare for math olympaids, most notably the International Mathematical Olympiad. The USAMO winners and honorable mentions, the next 15 or so top scoring non-seniors, as well as the top 30 or so 9th graders on the USAMO, are invited to participate.


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.


MOP is currently held at University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Previous locations have included IMSA, Rutgers University, West Point (US Military Academy), and the US Naval Academy.


Each Weekday consists of three instructional sessions: 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM, 1:15 PM - 3:15 PM, and 8:00 PM - 10:00 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, 3-question test is administered, and is graded with comments within 2-3 days. Team tests also occur weekly. Students are divided into teams of five, and work on a set of twenty-five 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 AMC initially abbreviated the program as "MOP", as the name was just "Mathematical Olympiad Program" at that point, but at some point, the official abbreviation was changed to "MOSP", coinciding with the change of the full name to "Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program". Nevertheless, almost all participants and alumni continue to refer to the program as "MOP" so much so that anyone using the other abbreviation is to be pitied.


MOP is not only a training camp but also a competition in and of itself. Various tests involving the team contest, the ELMO (it is not constant what this stands for but the most popular is e^log Math Olympiad), the USEMO, and the overall MOP tests are administered throughout the program. I don't actually remember too many of the results though so somebody else can fill in, but Hyun-Soo Kim's team won ELMO 2005.


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