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the dynamics of each round

Each WMC Qualifying competition currently has 9 assessed rounds. These are:

Purpose To test one’s mathematical knowledge and skills in a conventional, yet challenging way.
Duration 1.5 hours
Style A traditional multi-choice response examination paper.
Nature of submission Write each choice on the response sheet.
Notes Simple marking: 1 for correct, 0 for incorrect
Script to be read out before/during the round
Purpose To inspire strategic thinking to win a quick 1v1 mathematical game.
Duration Heats: About 1 hour
Style Participants face each other one v one in a short game and so face multiple opponents. Subtle rule changes may happen at any time.
Nature of submission After each duel, 3 stickers are awarded for a win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss.
Purpose To spark one's creativity when asked to find mathematical patterns from limited data.
Duration Heats: 8 codes with ~8 missing data points
Finals: Also 8 codes with ~8 missing data points
Style For each code, two data pairs are projected in sight. The next data pair will have one of its values missing, and participants must identify this missing value. If correct, they receive a sticker and it is then revealed on screen. This process is repeated for each code. Codes could be mathematical or abstract.
Nature of submission Heats: Write the missing value on a grid within the time limit. One sticker is awarded immediately for each correct answer.
Finals: Finalists are positioned in a curve facing a projected screen. In turn, they have to quickly say out loud the next data value. If correct, a sticker is awarded. If not, the next participant attempts the same one.
Notes Script to be read out before/during the round
The number of stickers determine a participants ranking.
Adjudicators use this scoring sheet.
Purpose To enhance one’s conceptual knowledge under timed pressure.
Duration About 1 hour
Style Teams sit as a pair and as a single opposite each other. There are 12 questions in total. After a set of 4 questions, the team members rotate once, so all experience being in every position.
Each question has 3 stages: stage C requires a result from stage B which requires a result from stage A. Stage A and C are answered by the pair and stage B is answer by the single. So within each question, the answer of stage A is passed to the single who uses it and then passes the answer of stage B back to the pair to answer stage C. Only positions A and C may verbally communicate with each other.
Although teams are allowed to send back answers they think are incorrect, this is not common.
Nature of submission Answers to stage A and B contribute towards the solution obtained after stage C. The response sheet is then held in the air as a final submission.
Notes Script to be read out before/during the round
Correct answers from Stages A, B and C are worth 2, 3, and 4 points each respectively.
Adjudicators use this scoring sheet.
Purpose To combine strategic thinking with communication skills when answering maths questions as quickly as possible.
Duration 2 sets of 30 mins. Each set has 8 questions to answer.
Style Each team has a desk within a large loop around the space, and 8 questions. There are 4 stations, each with 2 postboxes, spread evenly around the loop.
Teams can choose to answer any question, and a runner deposits an agreed solution into the appropriate postbox by following the loop in a particular direction. This is repeated after 30 minutes with another set of 8 questions, and the runners direction around the loop is reversed to ensure fairness.
Nature of submission Solutions are written on their corresponding question papers and must be deposited upside down in the correct postbox.
Notes Script to be read out before/during the round
Earlier correct deposits are awarded more points than later ones. Incorrect solutions receive zero points. Teams are not expected to answer all questions in the time allotted.
Adjudicators use this scoring sheet.
Purpose To encourage creativity when presenting broader mathematical concepts through a given stimulus.
Duration Session 1: Creating a mathematical problem with solution before the competition starts
Session 2: Presenting how the creation experience unfolded
Session 3: Solving each others crafted problems
Style Session 1: Use the provided stimulus to create a mathematical problem with solution that could directly help the world.
Session 2: Teams present to other teams and adjudicators how they experienced creating their problem, in an engaging and interesting way graded through this rubic.
Session 3: The actual mathematical problems are worked through by different teams, which are then graded through this rubic.
Nature of submission Session 1: In the week before the competition, teams upload their problem with solution using the link provided.
Session 2: The presentation, lasting no more than 3 minutes, is in a classroom environment.
Session 3: The problem-solving is also in a classroom environment.
Notes Emphasis for session 1 and 3 is on creating a good, mathematically understood, problem.
Emphasis for the session 2 presentation is performing live and articulating the processes experienced with confidence.
Script to be read out before session 2 and 3
Purpose To demonstrate knowledge through collaboration by solving mathematical problems in a sequential, fun and lively atmosphere.
Duration About 1 hour
Style Each team is allocated a desk within a column of desks. A runner goes to the back of their column and back again to collect a question and then completes the lap back to their team. When a solution is written on the question paper, the runner returns along the same route for marking.
Nature of submission Solutions are written on the question sheet. If it is correct at their first attempt, they earn 3 points and receive the next question.
If it is correct at their second attempt, they earn 2 points and receive the next question.
If it is correct at their third attempt, they earn 1 point and receive the next question. If it is incorrect at their third attempt, they may immediately 'pass' and move onto the next question. They may also continue to attempt that question, and when correct will still earn 1 point.
At the end of the round, teams on the same points with fewer passes will be ranked higher.
Notes Script to be read out before/during the round
Once a question is passed, teams may not return to it.
Adjudicators use this scoring sheet.
Purpose To apply strategic problem-solving to a real-world context.
Duration About 2 hours
Style Each team is given a practical problem, and provided the same set of resources and equipment to address it. Making calculations are an essential part of the process.
Nature of submission Teams will create a model to solve their problem. When the time is up, each model will be tested, resulting in a distance or time measurement.
Purpose To develop ingenuity while solving divergent, limited data problems.
Duration Within 1 hour each
Style Each team creates a poster responding to a specified problem.
There are 2 types of Open tasks: Estimation and Problem-solving. Prime Plus level engage in only a Problem-solving task.
Nature of submission Handed over (with team name on the back) to the lead adjudicator upon completion, it will be graded through this rubic.
Notes The emphasis is on how thought processes are communicated on paper.
Script to be read out before/during the round


The WMC Senior and Junior Finals currently have these aditional 3 assessed rounds. These are:

Purpose To cooperate in using mathematical knowledge to work in unfamiliar contexts
Duration About 1 hour
Style Senior Level 2019: Be familiar with simplified applications of graph theory and properties of common graphs.
Junior Level 2019: Working at a large wipe board within a University faculty room, team members provide a mathematical proof for each of the statements provided.
Nature of submission Senior Level 2019: Prepare any type of video, up to 5 minutes long, containing solutions to the problems presented, and upload it to the hyperlink provided on the day. Up to 10 marks are available for each question.
Junior Level 2019: Written proofs on a wipe board can receive up to 4 marks each:
4 : Complete, concise and well explained
3: Complete, but inconcise or not well explained
2: Good progress made, a crucial step (or a few minor ones) missing
1: An appropriate attempt made
0: Nothing relevant enough
Notes Senior Level 2019: Teams work in any space convienient to them during the time frame for the round. An Internet connection is required (within Trinity College this is fine) to upload the final submission video.
Junior Level 2019: Teams may return to a previously incomplete proof at any time.
Adjudicators circulate and mark each proof before the team wipe it from the board.
The proofs include a range of topics from within the themes for conceptual learning: Algebra, Geometry, Number theory, Statistics, Calculus. Adjudicators use this grading sheet during the round.
Purpose To cooperate with others in strategising to solve cipher codes.
Duration About 1.5 hours
Style Teams are set-up around desks in the hall space. They choose codes to solve from a 4 by 4 square grid, all teams start from cell C2. There are 12 different types of code, placed within 4 groups, to attempt (refer to hyperlinks below). When deciphered correctly, a simple mathematical question is revealed which must be answered. A bonus point is awarded for each answer encoded with the same cipher.
Nature of submission The runner chooses which of the 16 ciphers to solve (all are issued with C2 first) and returns with their answer written on the question paper. That cell is then marked with correct or incorrect, and the team cannot attempt that cipher again. The runner selects another available cipher.
Notes The scoring is as follows: For every row and column, sum the (number of continuous solved ciphers)2. Then there is a bonus point for each answer encoded using the same cipher.
It is very wise for all Senior and Junior Finalists to consult this web resource to learn the 12 cipher types they will encounter.
The Senior level Grid and encryption hint sheet provided during the round are here, and the equivalent Junior level ones are here.
Purpose To creatively use and manipulate big data in such a way to make predictions about an issue of global significance.
Duration About 2 hours
Style Using a computer with a spreadsheet of data.
Nature of submission On paper showing what data manipulation was carried out to arrive at the prediction.

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