Brilliant is a high-quality free online mathematics and science problem solving website for high aptitude students around the world. Brilliant aims to democratize the way smart, driven youth are identified and developed by offering an intellectually challenging environment online.
We are a team of educators, olympiad all-stars, academics, technologists, engineers, admissions experts, and college administrators. Our investors have advised leaders in education services such as The Princeton Review, SparkNotes, Mind Snacks, and The Learning Company. We have led community initiatives to improve college access and promote civic engagement, particularly for low-income communities.
Interested in working with us? Apply for a job at Brilliant.
Brilliant is not a school, a test prep service, or an official competition. We do not teach a comprehensive curriculum, although solving problems on our site can help you learn mathematics and physics at a deeper level. Brilliant structures its problem sets to be fun, challenging, and interesting.
In the future, some features on the site may cost money. In addition, schools and companies may be able to pay to recruit our users through our site. We will certainly alert all of our users well in advance before we implement either of these changes. Right now, we are focused on making the best site possible for bright, motivated people everywhere to push their intellect in math and physics.
Please direct all general questions about Brilliant, as well as questions about the points exchange or your user account to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please direct all questions pertaining to the discussion forum to email@example.com.
Solving Problems on Brilliant
After you create an account on Brilliant.org, a brief diagnostic exam will assign you your first level (1-5) in any of the subjects we offer. Each week, you will have access to problem sets designed to be more challenging and interesting than problems you would get in school and tailored to your ability. You have three chances to get the correct answer to each question in a problem set. When you solve problems on Brilliant, you receive points that allow you to measure your progress and can be traded in for academic opportunities and other prizes.
There are five difficulty levels of problem sets for each subject. We offer each level a range of problems that are interesting and challenging without being either too simple or too difficult. The hardest level 2 questions are similar to the easiest Level 3 questions.
The minimum age requirement is 13 years of age. Most members of the Brilliant community are in high school or college, but adults of many ages also enjoy the intellectual stimulation of our problem sets.
All problems on Brilliant strive to be interesting and better than your common math problem, regardless of level. The level one problems tend to cover the most fundamental aspects of basic high school mathematics. Level five problems are very difficult, and require deep understanding of the subject.
It takes good people to create problems. Currently our small team is focused on developing the math and physics sections. As the site grows we will branch into other disciplines.
The problems are designed to be solvable with pencil, paper, and human reasoning. In physics problems, using a calculator is encouraged to arrive at a correct decimal answer. For mathematics problems, featured solutions that use computer programs will only be accepted if you can justify why there was no error in your computation. In general, if you find yourself wanting to brute force an answer with a computer, there is probably a more elegant way to go about it that you are not seeing.
If you perform well in your current level for 2 weeks in a row, Brilliant will bump you to the next level in order to expose you to more challenging problems. In other words, if you get almost every problem right in your level for two weeks in a row, you will probably level up. Note that you must view at least 5 problems in 2 weeks to be considered for a level up.
Depending on your account settings, we may post an update to your Facebook wall announcing your rise in level. If this happens, your problems will upgrade the week after this update is posted.
We will only level you down if you keep getting problems incorrect over the course of 2 weeks. Don't worry; viewing and not answering problems will not cause you to level down, nor will taking a break from Brilliant. In general, we believe it is better for you to have a few easy questions, a few medium questions, and a bunch of questions that push you, rather than a whole problem set where you completely flounder.
Heavens no! The desire to work on challenging problems is worth being proud of, regardless of level. Given the range of ages and educational opportunities amongst our members, it is only natural to see a wide range of ability on Brilliant.org. Study and practice with problems on Brilliant can improve your abilities and your level.
Achieving a high level on Brilliant problem sets demonstrates a tremendously high aptitude and skill in the subjects offered. Practically speaking, being in a high level also allows you to receive more points per correct problem. In the scheme of things, solving challenging math and physics problems is pretty cool, but not nearly as cool as curing diseases, solving the world's energy problems, feeding the hungry, or advancing the field of pure mathematics.
You may submit problems that you have designed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the challenge masters at Brilliant like the problem you have written, you will be awarded points, and it will be featured in one of the weekly problem sets and authorship will be attributed to you.
At levels 1 and 2 you can exchange points to receive worked solutions to any of the problems. At the upper levels, the best user submitted solutions are posted the following week, and users can discuss the solutions.
If you get a problem correct you may randomly be asked to submit a solution for extra points.
We encourage you to share problems from Brilliant with your friends, and have built a "Share this problem" feature for this purpose. Please do not request answers to problems from Brilliant on other sites. This could effectively make the answer public and spoil the challenge for the problem solving community on Brilliant. If you see a Brilliant problem posted on an external site please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to report it.
The Points Exchange
Lanyards are shipped out every two weeks.
No. You are leveled up based on your performance on the problem sets whether you claim a lanyard or not.
When you initially created an account, you had the option of entering a mailing address. If you do not enter an address at this point, you will be directed to enter your address in your account settings when you claim a lanyard.
You can claim successively higher lanyards as you reach higher levels. You cannot claim lanyards for lower levels.
We are working on additions and improvements to the points exchange.
We can't think of a legitimate reason why you would need more than one account. We will assume that people with multiple accounts are using them to cheat at Brilliant, and will take appropriate actions.
Any email you receive from Brilliant contains an unsubscribe link. You can opt out of any and all news updates from Brilliant at any point in time.
Please go into the Personal Information tab of your Account Settings page, accessible by clicking your name at the top of the page, and attach a scan of a valid i.d. When you have uploaded valid proof of your age, please email email@example.com and we will process your age change request.
Absolutely nothing. Inactivity on Brilliant does not cost you points or factor into your performance at all.
The discussion forum is a place for you to interact with other people all over the world, who, like you, enjoy challenging their minds for fun. You should feel free to talk about almost anything. You could share news stories, articles, facts, images, and things on the web that you find interesting and think others might too. You could also use the discussions forum to ask the community for advice. Or you could pose problems in math or science that you have come across that you think are interesting. You really can post about anything.
You can find the rules and guidelines for the discussion forum here.
On the main discussion page, to the left of each discussion is an arrow with a number on it. This arrow represents the number of votes that a discussion has received. The discussions are ordered on the page based on how many votes they have received and how old they are. Voting a discussion up will cause it to rise in the ordering, and the passage of time will make it sink gradually. In any discussion, the comment thread with the most votes will rise to the top.
When you subscribe to a discussion post, you receive automated email updates whenever somebody comments on that discussion thread.
When you post a discussion, you are automatically subscribed to that discussion post.
Anytime you comment on a discussion post, you are also automatically subscribed to replies to your comment. Additionally, there is a link near the top of each discussion that can subscribe you to a discussion post even if you have not commented on it.
You can unsubscribe from a discussion by clicking the unsubscribe button on the original post.
At Brilliant, we want to celebrate your creative abilities. Having a featured problem is a great opportunity for you to challenge the Brilliant community, and for you to both start and engage in discussions with a wide group of your Brilliant peers.
After submission, your problem goes through several rounds of review. We will send you an email when your problem is accepted or rejected. Submissions that do not meet the minimum requirements will be rejected within one week. If you have not heard back from us within one week, that means that your problem has made it through to the second round!
A well phrased question with detailed solution will make it easier for us to review and you will know within 2 weeks if your problem has been accepted.
When your problem is accepted, it is added to a queue and will be released to the Brilliant community within weeks. You will have an equal chance as others in your level to see the problem.
Certainly! We welcome your contribution, and will shower you with points. As a rough estimate, you will get 3-5 times the points that the question is worth.
Sometimes, we may decide to feature your solution, especially if it presents a novel interpretation of the problem!
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make the edits. In the future, we will build a simple way for you to make edits, track the status, and even view your accepted problem when it goes live.
Problems that do not meet the standards of Challenge, Clarity, Detailed Problem and Solution, Formatting, and Proper Attribution detailed in the Guidelines for Submission will be rejected. If your problem meets the minimum requirements, we will include suggestions in our email for how to improve your submissions in the future.
We believe in upholding the academic integrity of our students, and do not endorse the plagiarism of ideas. Just as you would want us to credit you for your original problems, you should also credit others who shared the problem with you.
Stating your sources will not disadvantage you in any way; you will still undergo the same review process and receive the same number of points if your problem is chosen. Students will be banned from submitting problems if they repeatedly submit problems from other sources, and claim them as their own inventions.