Policy on Getting Help: Qualifying Quiz Dos and Don'ts

Mathcamp is a community is based on mutual trust and respect, and we take plagiarism and cheating extremely seriously. When you submit your solutions, we ask you to confirm that your Qualifying Quiz solutions are entirely your own work and that you did not receive help from anyone else. You are welcome to use books or the Web to look up background information, but you must include a reference in your solutions to every external source that you use.

Dos and Don'ts

We want your work on the Quiz to be entirely your own. Here's what's off-limits:

  • You may not use any AI tools to work on the QQ at all. This includes asking ChatGPT to write code for you: just keep AI tools far away from your QQ entirely.
  • You may not ask anyone how to solve these problems. Don't ask ChatGPT, don't ask a friend, don't ask a teacher, don't ask an internet forum, and absolutely don't ask "homework help" sites like Chegg.
  • You may not ask anyone to read over your solutions and give you feedback – on your proofs, your handwriting, or anything else. Don't show anyone your Quiz solutions until the application deadline has passed.

However, the Quiz is an opportunity to for you to learn some new ideas! Here's what you can do:

  • Use computer algebra systems like Wolfram Alpha to help you work out examples.
  • Write code as part of your solving process. (But you don't need to; coding is not an expected prerequisite for applying to Mathcamp.) Read more about Programming and the Qualifying Quiz.
  • Use reference libraries like OEIS to look things up or just explore.
  • Use textbooks, wikipedia, youtube videos, and other reference materials that a person would use to learn about math. Keep in mind that you must include a reference in your solutions to every external source that you use.


What's so bad about cheating?
We all know that frankly, people lie all the time – from little white lies to outright fabrication. Your Qualifying Quiz is one place where it's really important to be honest. If you happen to get lucky and don't get caught cheating? Well, then for your whole summer at Mathcamp, you will be lying. You will be lying to your friends who got into Mathcamp the honest way; to your reference who vouched for your character; to your family who is supporting you; and to all the Mathcamp staff who work tirelessly to make camp great. You will never know if you would have gotten into Mathcamp anyway, on your own merits, or whether, by cheating, you took away a more honest student's spot. So please don't cheat: it hurts everyone, and it's just not worth it.

Okay! I won't cheat. But you said I could Google things?
The Web is a fantastic resource for learning math, and any instructor at Mathcamp will tell you that we often consult Wikipedia for definitions or use Wolfram Alpha for calculations. If you want to look up something specific (say, the formula for the area of a cone) or you think a Quiz problem is related to modular arithmetic and you want to learn more about that topic, we encourage you to go read about it! (And reference that source in your solutions.) What we don't want you to do is Google to see if someone else has already solved this problem, or worse, post the problem in an online forum to see if someone else will solve it for you. We want to read your solutions, not someone else's.

Where can I ask questions?
If you are unsure of exactly what constitutes cheating or plagiarism, or if you need clarification on a Quiz problem, please email our quiz helpline. (We won't answer questions like "How do I do this problem?" or "I'm stuck at this step...", but we will help you make sure that you understand what the problem is asking.)

Cheating on the Mathcamp Qualifying Quiz, or on any other part of your application, will automatically disqualify you from attending Mathcamp not only this year, but in all future years. Don't do it!