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How to deal with someone who cheated on a math contest?

Hello fellow brilliant members.

I am 99.9% sure that a classmate of mine cheated on a math olympiad contest (the USA Mathematical Talent Search/USAMTS) because of several reasons. I'll save you the details, but he scores low (average 3) out of 6 at mathletes meets (he's not on the A-team). And, he has never qualified for the AIME (of the people who didn't qualify, he wasn't in the top 3. The top 3 scorers were in the high 80's range).

Yet somehow he managed to submit 15 flawless proofs on much harder problems. Me and my fellow mathletes and classmates (along with the Calculus teacher) are very dubious of his achievements.

Do you guys have any suggestions on how to deal with abominations as this? Is it best to just leave it alone? If not, how can I and how should I report it?

Thanks for reading. I hope this fits the submitting guidelines as I think the brilliant community will be good at answering this question.

Note by Michael Tong
4 years, 3 months ago

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3 votes

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Keep in mind that with the USAMTS, you are given over a month to solve the problems and write up solutions. It is possible that your classmate is just not good at speed based contests.

You could try emailing the USAMTS about it. However, I don't think they'll do anything about it without actual proof of him cheating. Depending on if and how he cheats, this may be very difficult and/or impossible to obtain.

Jimmy Kariznov - 4 years, 3 months ago

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Yes, this is true. I considered this before considering him as a cheater. However I feel that the difference in levels are just so great that I feel that it is impossible, even if he is better with time. In terms of brilliant.org, in time-based competitions he has shown a level3/level4 level of math. I don't think that can translate to a perfect score on a test as hard as the USAMTS, especially since he is a high school student. But maybe I am being too stubborn. Thanks for the comment.

Michael Tong - 4 years, 3 months ago

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I agree with Jimmy. To do well on the AIME you need to either work very quickly, or have a lot of practice recognizing and solving similar types of problems and know all of the "tricks." For the USAMTS you can (very) leisurely research or derive yourself all of the results and tricks you need to solve the problems. I think it's plausible someone might do well on one contest and not on the other.

Etienne Vouga - 4 years, 3 months ago

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It's not that he didn't do well on the AIME, it's that he didn't qualify for it

Michael Tong - 4 years, 3 months ago

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don't think of others ,just see if you are in the right path

Prajwal Kavad - 3 years, 7 months ago

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not everyone is fast at doing math your class most be fast paced and what the heck what type of classmates feels dubious about another p.s for your classmate "the haters gonna hate

Edwin Macias - 9 months, 4 weeks ago

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