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FAQs - MOSP

Q. MOSP #1. What are the rules about eligibility for MOSP regarding citizenship?
A. Generally speaking, if a student has been attending a high school in the United States for more than one year (e.g. is not specifically an exchange student in the US for a year or less) and has a sufficiently high score on the USAMO or USAJMO, then the student is eligible for the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program. See the USA(J)MO Teachers' Manual, Section VIII, page 6 for more specifics.

Q. MOSP #2. What do the color groups at MOSP mean?
A. We invite high-scoring Olympiad participants in certain categories to the MOSP. The color groups are an organizational device for the AMC office to make sure we have all the categories invited and filled. Once here, using the instructors' experience and best judgment the instructors will assign students to whatever class or activity they think will benefit the student most,. There are no rigid classifications or immutable categories. Students may be instructed to mix or match by grades, experience, or MOSP test scores according to the purposes of the instructors. Daily class composition may change, even several times, over the course of 3 weeks.

Q. MOSP #3. What are the criteria for invitation to MOSP?
A. The criteria for invitation to 2011 MOSP are:

  1. Scores of 35 and higher on USAMO, and eligible (US citizenship or permanent residency)
  2. Scores of 28 and higher on the USAMO and eligible (US citizenship or permanent residency, in 9th 10th or 11th grade and not already invited in (1).)
  3. Scores of 21 on the USAMO and higher and eligible (US citizenship or permanent residency, in 9th or 10th grade, and not already selected in (1) or (2).)
  4. Scores of 28 and higher on the USAJMO, and eligible (US citizenship or permanent residency, and in 9th or 10th grade.)
  5. Scores of 14 or higher on the USAMO, or 15 or higher on the USAJMO, and eligible (U.S. Citizenship or permanent residency, female, in 9th, 10th,
    11th or 12th grade.)

Q. MOSP #4. How will the qualifications for China Girl's Math Olympiad (CGMO) proceed?
A. Pending firm commitment of funding for the additional participation at MOSP, the plan is to select about 8 to 10 high-scoring young women from both the USAMO and the USAJMO to invite to MOSP. These will be determined in addition to invitations to young women from the USAMO Winners, the non-senior USAMO Honorable Mentions,and high scoring 9th and 10th graders from the USAMO and USAJMO according to previously published criteria. (Note that this is the same number of young women that were invited from the USAMO to MOSP the past couple of years, again assuming available funding.)

However until we have some experience comparing scores from the USAMO and the USAJMO we are not going to commit to firm numbers of participants from either contest or firm score criteria from either contest. MOSP instructors, USAMO and USAJMO graders, and the USA(J)MO committee will jointly make the determination, considering quality of written solutions, difficulty of problems solved, difficulty of problems attempted, comparison with all USA(J)MO scores and all available other scores (AMC 10, AMC 12, AIME) in order to find and train the best possible team. The selection process will be done with Student ID Numbers only, so selection will be blind with respect to name, school, region, etc.

Performance at MOSP, mostly based on the MOSP weekly tests, among all the young women at MOSP will determine the actual team that goes to the CGMO.

Q. MOSP #5. What will the selection process be for the USA International Mathematical Olympiad team?
A. Selection of the 6 team members and 2 alternates for the USA team for the International Mathematical Olympiad will be based on a combination of the following criteria:

  1. The Team Selection for the Team Selection Test (TSTST) given in the last week of Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program.  The Team Selection Test (taken in June at the MOSP in Lincoln) will be given over three days, with three Olympiad-style problems per day, in 4-1/2 hour blocks.  From the results of this TSTST we will choose 12-18 students with the highest scores for potential team membership.
  2. These 12-18 students will take additional Olympiad-style tests taken in the academic year, including the Asia-Pacific Mathematical Olympiad, usually administered on the first or second Monday in March.
  3. Potentially an additional Olympiad-level test, given in schools, in late winter.  Details on this will be announced by January 1, so that students and schools have adequate time to schedule and prepare, including finding proctors. 
  4. The USAMO score from the Annual USAMO.
  5. The Team Selection Index will be a sum of the scores from these three or four Olympiad-level tests.  Some weighting may be used to adjust for differences in contest difficulty or other factors.
  6. An ad hoc committee consisting of the MOSP Director/IMO Team Leader, MOSP Assistant Director/Deputy Leader, AMC Director, USAMO Subcommittee Chair, CAMC Chair and others appointed by the IMO Leader for the ad hoc committee will vote for the USA IMO Team membership based on the Team Selection Index using additional information including the AMC 12 Score, the AIME score and other indications including team spirit and demonstrated work ethic and study habits as evidenced by active participation in the steps 1-4.

Note that the 12-18 students attending 2011 MOSP and scoring the highest on the TSTST at MOSP will NOT need to qualify for the 2012 USAMO by taking the 2012 AMC 12 and 2012 AIME combination.  That is, there will be “automatic qualification” for USAMO by virtue of 12-18 TSTST high scores.  However, failure to take the AMC 12 and or AIME or a low score on either without adequate explanation will put a student at a competitive disadvantage in step 6.
These changes are made for the following reasons:

  1. The current determination of the team using a TST during the first week at MOSP comes very late for purchasing air-travel tickets, planning summer family schedules, obtaining visas, and registering the team with the IMO. The new schedule allows us to determine a team by early May, allowing better scheduling for all these activities and potential cost-saving by purchasing tickets earlier.
  2. The new plan will keep students at a higher level of continuous competitive preparation throughout the year, most especially in the spring leading to the USAMO.

This spreads the selection criteria over several Olympiad-level contests, so that a single day’s performance is less likely to affect a strong competitor adversely.

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