The MIT Integration Bee, 2012

This is the webpage for the 2012 Integration Bee. If you are looking for this year's (2013) Integration Bee, please follow this link.

Qualifying round: Friday, Jan 13, 2011   (20 minutes within 4pm -- 6pm)   in room 4-149

Main event: Tuesday, Jan 17, 2011   6:30pm -- 9pm   in room 10-250

Integration is one of the core constructions in modern mathematics. It is attached to famous names such as Newton, Leibnitz, Riemann, Lebesgue, Stieltjes, Wiener, Itô, Stratonovich, Skorohod, and many others. By definition, the integral of a (nice) function is the area of the region bounded below the graph of that function. The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus (the cornerstone of calculus, as taught, for example, in 18.01) allows the calculation of integrals using another key calculus ingredient - differentiation - in reverse. While differentiation is completely routine, applying it backward to integrate requires skill and creativity.

For many years (though probably less than 128), MIT has held the world's most prestigious (and first) Integration Bee. The format has varied, ranging from a traditional round-robin to an NHL-style playoff tournament. Each year the bee draws a large crowd. Come cheer on MIT's best speed-integration specialists, and watch them vie for the coveted title Grand Integrator!

The qualifying round

The qualifying round will consist of a written test of 25 integrals, for which participants will have 20 minutes. You can drop by for 20 minutes between 4 and 6 pm. The winners of this round will be finalists in the main tournament.
This year's finalists, ranked in order of their performance on the qualifying test, are:
  1. Aaron Brookner
  2. Praveen Venkataramana
  3. Qian Yu
  4. Andrew Jeanguenat
  5. Dennis Tseng
  6. Carl Lian
  7. Polnop Samutpraphoot
  8. Jonathan Schneider
  9. Benjamin Kraft
  10. Leon Zhang
  11. Ben Bond
  12. Justin Brereton
  13. Jacob Hurwitz
  14. Kate Rudolph
  15. Yi Sun
  16. Melih Ucer
(There are some ties: see the diagram below)

Update: Here are the questions and answers for the qualifying round.

The Tournament

The integration bee is a four round seeded tournament, with pairing progression detailed on the diagram below. The first round will be a first-to-two-integrals elimination: the first to solve two integrals correctly will proceed to the second round, while the other is eliminated. In all rounds, the integrals will be projected onto the screen along with the timer.

In the second round, the first round winners compete in first-to-two-integrals elimination. The four successful competitors proceed to round 3, which is a first-to-three-integrals elimination. The two remaining competitors then square off in the championship round, where the first to correctly solve 3 integrals will be declared the Grand Integrator!

The integrals will become slightly more challenging as the contest progresses to higher rounds. All integrals in any given round will be at approximately the same level of difficulty, none trivial. The time allotted for these integrals will be: 1 minute each for the first round, 2 minutes each for the second round, 3 minutes each for the third round, and 4 minutes each for the final round. If neither contestant gives a correct solution within the allotted time, both start with a new integral. When a competitor circles a solution, the clock is stopped, and the judges consider it. If it is judged correct, the competitor has won an integral point; if incorrect, the clock is started again, and either competitor may present a solution within regulation time. (A competitor may not present more than 2 solutions for one integral.)


Here are some fun integrals from last year's tournament.
try me!


The final eight will receive gift certificates to Toscanini's ice cream. The final two competitors will receive book prizes, and the winner of the championship round will be crowned Grand Integrator.


The Grand Integrator this year is Justin Brereton. The runner-up is Praveen Venkataramana.
Thanks to Sriram Krishnan for co-organizing the Bee with me this year (and to the MIT math department for sponsoring it, the prizes and advertising). This year's contest was covered by the Boston Globe. Here is the link to their article.