4
$\begingroup$

Trinity's Problem of the Week and Purdue's Problem of the Week were both weekly problems that were excellent for college math clubs to tangle with at their weekly meetings. However, both of them are no longer posting new problems.

What is a good replacement?

A good answer would involve contest-type questions but they would not be part of a contest. Or, if they are part of a contest, the competition part of it should be clearly de-emphasized. The point is to engage with interesting problems for the sake of themselves.

$\endgroup$
2
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Imagine I asked "Does anyone know any places I can watch live sports other than basketball?," and the first comment was "Why not watch old recordings of sports?," the second comment was "Here is a place you also cannot watch sports," and the first answer was "I don't know why you would want to avoid basketball. Here is how you can watch some basketball." $\endgroup$
    – user23487
    Dec 6, 2023 at 18:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user23487 what you actually asked was "Does anyone know any new sports that my students can play without being pitted against each other in competition" and the first comment was "Why not have them play existing sports that they haven't played yet?," the second comment was "Here is a place you can learn about various existing sports," and the first answer was "I don't know why you think you need entirely new sports just to avoid competition. Here is how you can avoid competition with existing sports." $\endgroup$ Dec 6, 2023 at 18:34

1 Answer 1

4
$\begingroup$

I don't understand the aversion to contest problems. If you want contest-type questions, then why not just pull from well-known contests (AMC, IMO, Putnam, etc) where a variety of interesting, engaging problems can be found along with solutions?

Competition is not inherent to these problems. Rather, it depends entirely on the environment in which the problems are solved. If you take a contest problem and present it to a math club as as something to engage with for the sake of itself, then students will not be engaged in competition.

Avoiding problems because they appear in contests and you don't want competition, is like avoiding jelly because it appears in peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and you're allergic to peanuts.

$\endgroup$
2
  • $\begingroup$ Problems from old contests feel stale to students. This week's problem of the week is out there for anyone to solve! The solution won't be posted until Friday! In contrast, the 1998 Putnam was solved ages ago, we could Google the answers if we wanted to, and this is all a completely different feeling. For another example, why do people do today's New York Times Crossword Puzzle? Why not do old puzzles from a book? Why not do the 1998 World Crossword Championship puzzle? There is value in working on something that is out there for fun and that people worldwide could be looking at right now. $\endgroup$
    – user23487
    Dec 6, 2023 at 18:08
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @user23487 it would have been more effective to explain this in your original post (and it would probably still be a good idea to update it). You're getting responses you feel are irrelevant because you didn't include these critical details in your question. $\endgroup$ Dec 6, 2023 at 18:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.