Problem of the Month - 2013

Problem of the Month (PoM) is an online problem-solving competition open to all students in grade 10 and below, regardless of what state/country you live in. The main idea of the PoM is to stimulate and cultivate interest in science and math. Each month you will be given a set of five problems that include a problem in each of the following subjects: Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry and Biology. By solving those problems you will get a great opportunity to challenge your mind, to compete and win prizes, and to get accepted to SigmaCamp 2014. We believe that you are going to enjoy working on these problems!



  • The contest is open to all students in grade 10 and below and is free of charge. You can join the contest at any time. Solutions must be submitted online - please do not mail or email your answers to us, they will not be considered. Detailed instructions for registering and submitting solutions can be found on this page.
  • There are two levels of participation: grade 8 and younger (Sigma 1) and grades 9 and 10 (Sigma 2). While the problems will be the same for all students, each group will compete independently and has their own winners.
  • While solving problems, you may consult the web, books and other published literature, but if you are receiving any help from other people you must clearly indicate it in your solutions. Of course, you are on an honor system in this regard.


  • On the fifth day of each month we will be posting a new set of problems. Each set includes one problem in each of the following subjects: Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry and Biology. You are free to choose any problem(s) you want but we encourage you to try and solve as many problems as you can.
  • We expect your solutions by the last day of the same month (solutions sent to us after the deadline will not be accepted).
  • The correct solutions will be posted on the first day of the following month.
  • The statistics for each round will be posted online by the 20th of each month.


  • Each solution will be graded on a scale of 0 to 10 points, based on completeness, accuracy, and quality of presentation. Solutions showing original thinking will receive higher scores. Extra credit (up to 5 points) will be given for the problem that will be recognized as a Best Solution for the Month . We also will publish these solutions on the PoM webpage with the author's names.
  • If a submitted solution is incorrect, the grader will provide comments showing your mistakes. You will be able to access your individual grade along with the graders’ comment via your online user account. If you disagree with the graders' decisions you can appeal your grade by sending an email to the address below.


  • Every participant will be given the priority in acceptance to SigmaCamp 2014.
  • The authors of the Best Solution for the Month  will receive a prize.
  • Depending on funds, there will be up to seven awards given for competitors with the highest scores in each of two age groups. The winners’ names will be published on our website at the end of the POM competition. Three students with the highest scores will get special prizes.
  • If you earn a total of 115 points (for the “9 and 10th grade” category) or 100 points (for the “8 grade or younger” category*) by the end of February, you will be accepted to SigmaCamp without having to complete the Qualification Quiz.

*Note that there is an age restriction for SigmaCamp participants. We only accept students who are 12-16 year old (finished grades 6-10).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at
or call