# Weekly Problems

Why are there no new weekly problems? Is it just me or is the last week to be viewed the week of December 17th?

On a general note, from two years ago I feel like the website has changed a lot. I unfortunately was inactive for the last couple of years, but have returned to Brilliant recently. I feel like the community now is much less connected. Has the focus of this website shifted from collaborative problem solving to individualized learning? Any answer would be much appreciated as I dearly miss the old Brilliant.

Note by Hamza A
10 months, 2 weeks ago

This discussion board is a place to discuss our Daily Challenges and the math and science related to those challenges. Explanations are more than just a solution — they should explain the steps and thinking strategies that you used to obtain the solution. Comments should further the discussion of math and science.

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Hello!!!! First of all.....WOW!!! I had joined Brilliant about an year ago and had started following all the people with amazing skills and those who took part in discussions, one of them being you too......So, I am just glad that someone resurfaced from the "past" !! But after a few days I came to notice that Brilliant had mostly stopped the community discussions...........All the fun stuff such as the newsletters, or the Integration Contests, or the Trolls and other discussions were already over and no new community discussion appeared to be fun...........And afterwards I realized that Brilliant has changed a lot from the past year..........Now, when you are active after two years I can see that the changes would have disappointed you......There are no more followers tab and the weekly problems have been replaced by Daily problems...........And Yes, I too feel that the community is less active and much less connected now.......!!! But well.....maybe Brilliant HAS shifted to individualized learning now.........It all depends on the members right??

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Haha we need a new generation of brilliant students it seems. The daily problems are not challenging whatsoever, although interesting to some extent. The ability we had to select "easy" or "intermediate" or "hard" problems was of major utility and provided a challenge for all. The problems I seem to be posting now and most new community problems have little engagement, and I wonder if that is because of all the new Brilliant changes. Also what happened to the contests? I was never really an avid participator since they somehow always coincided with busy times but they were very interesting. I feel like the "fun" in the website was primarily the result of collaboration on challenging problems, but I see very little of that now.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

The main effect that stopping problems of the week showed on community members is that their number of solvers became stagnant. There would be another alternative for increasing the number of solvers, "Staff must include community problems in the Daily Problems written by users". I feel that daily problems should be a combination of user made and staff made problems and not just staff made problems. Apart from this everything is good now on Brilliant.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

That would be great. However I'd disagree that apart from that everything is good on Brilliant. I am not aware of all the new updates, but either there has been a major shift away from the "community" aspect, or the "community" itself dissipated.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes I knew that some changes are not quite comfortable. But they are overall ok.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

It might seem like that since you are relatively new. I have been in here since late 2015, and the environment here was incredible. It doesn't have much of the same energy anymore. The fervor that Brilliant brought about in regards to problem-solving seems to be a flame extinguished.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Ok. I have joined brilliant last year in march so I didn't participate in many of the discussions which Aaghaz Mahajan said (fun stuff such as the newsletters, or the Integration Contests, or the Trolls and other discussions). But I can imagine how beautiful brilliant is at that time.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

And that is the problem. Brilliant, two years ago, had a very active community forum. From other boards on the site, it looks like this will be no more by the end of year. Looks like I'll be taking my business elsewhere...

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Hey if you found an alternative, please share with everybody! I'm also an old member that had recently come back and am too disappointed by the developments. Though I can't say I haven't expected it.

- 9 months ago

"A Brilliant Member" went ahead with their intent to take their business elsewhere; their account was deactivated a month ago, leaving no hint of whether "elsewhere" existed. I haven't found an alternative either.

- 9 months ago

Hi @Julian Poon – in order, what do you miss the most? We're not standing still...

Staff - 9 months ago

I'm not really a good judge on brilliant's recent developments because I've been largely inactive. However, here are some of my thoughts.

Mostly I missed the community's generated content which was really varied. It kept the community constantly challenged and engaged. Even if this is replaced by the courses and daily problems, I find now that there are fewer members pushing the boundaries of their knowledge in creative ways such as creating problems and notes.

I think the gradual dwindling of community activity could have started with the changes in the layout that hid the 'like' and 'reshare' button, which kept the interesting problems in the loop for more to see, even if some might be repetitive for the sake of points. The follower feature was good, because it encouraged creators to constantly generate good content, while new users can easily find the content they want. Even if it does create an unfair spotlight for old users, making the following feature less obvious should mitigate that, similar to how the 'like' and 'reshare' feature got less important after it was replaced with the hamburger menu. Separating the problems and discussions on the site layout, while it helps with organisation, I noticed a decline in engagement in the discussions, which I attribute to people simply being more interested in the problems (for points). If they do not see the discussions in the first place, they would not be interested to explore that page.

I think changes that encourage a varied community experience such as a site layout that encourages activity and a way to incentivise users to post quality content and engage with the community would bring the community of old brilliant back. However, I recognise the work and maintainance needed to do such and that it is probably not sustainable.

The replacement of the voting system for solutions is great though. The courses are now very well developed and it does aid in building skills that were otherwise left to crawling the community for related problems. Not to mention that the wikis are more engaging and welcoming compared to, say, wikipedia. However, I think the community is important to supplement their learning, both in solving the community's challenges and creating them, and the daily problems aren't varied enough to cater to such a diverse audience.

- 9 months ago

@Julian Poon this is truly thoughtful post, thank you for spending the time to talk through your experience over the years. I miss the old community at times as well, and seeing people like @Mursalin Habib and @Christopher Boo hanging around. We will do our best to figure out a way to support both an organized learning experience and a community for people who are deeply interested in these subjects.

Staff - 9 months ago

It is great that you are trying to create an environment much like the old community although the situation has quiet down. Seeing your efforts are not enough though, as words cannot always describe actions precisely, so I am still going to be critical until the changes happens.

- 9 months ago

Hi @Hummus a – I'd say a bit of both. Our mission is to inspire and develop people in math and science. Sometimes that overlapped with our community, and other times it was directly at odds. For example, our community always wishes things to be harder, and by and large, that is very off putting to people who didn't grow up with certain kinds of parents, weren't the same gender or nationality as others in the community, etc. This is why the community has become a little bit less front and center in the Brilliant experience, especially the problem writing aspect of the community.

When it comes to support features like Problems of the Week, Sets, etc. the hard reality is that it is extremely expensive to maintain these features. So we spend a lot of time arguing about what to keep and and what to cut, and then we do the best we can to live with our decisions. I wrote a bit about this here.

That being said, I'll point out that the last month has seen by far the largest number of community participants on Brilliant in years – Daily Problem discussions are very lively, and in many cases, quite advanced.

Staff - 10 months ago

Maybe that "collaboration on challenging problems" could be brought back by giving users the option to post "problem series"? Such a series would consist of 5 to 10 problems or so that are posted together, like the courses, and build up to finally solve a more challenging problem. By telling others what steps they can take, I think many people, who otherwise would'nt even try such problems, could then see the beauty of these solutions, and discuss every step in the respective part's solutions.

Another idea I have would be to present some discussions on the community page, so that more people see them and can discuss, because at the moment there are many discussions that cover interesting topics, but just don't get noticed.

But I just joined Brilliant in October 2018, so I only know this "new" Brilliant, and maybe my ideas wouldn't lead to the goal of a better community. Just tell me what you think of them, and I'm interested what kinds of suggestions you have.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I only speak for myself here, but the courses haven't done me any good. I was a premium member for a month or so, but quit only because I seemed to never use them and exclusively tried the community problems which are far more engaging and challenging. Problem solving at that high of a level is truly an art, and I feel that it can not be taught like a "course". The discussions are a great idea, one can post a topic and explain it in depth, ask some discussion questions or open problems, and then the community can discuss it.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I will hopefully start doing something like that as soon as I have the time. I'm also thinking about making a new "Who's Up To the Challenge" for science problems as I feel we need to diversify the problems on Brilliant as they are mostly math problems.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes. I like physics so much but I find mostly maths problems on brilliant. I will definitely participate in such type of science discussions.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree with you that problem solving can not be taught simply by showing examples and then expecting people to "replicate" these steps and use them on completely different problems. On the other hand, how else should it be taught?

I think breaking down a problem into multiple steps can teach people at least how to begin, and if someone just isn't able to solve the final problem, they might still have solved some parts of it. And in my opinion, this is at least better than overcharging people with hard problems.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

@Hummus a Hello once again!!! So.........@Henry U the question raised by you is a good one....HOW can the problem solving skills be taught.......you see, in my perspective problem solving skills can not be taught......people may get to know tricks only after getting familiarized with some examples and then seeing that how deep the connections are between various fields which all come together in one single problem.......and this tact cannot simply strike any person if he or she does not do some examples first...........The thing is, what Brilliant is doing with its community is far much better than what it is doing with the courses section.......

Also, I agree with Hummus A, that the courses are not as challenging........But, consider this, I have a friend who was a premium member for a year and his skills had improved a LOT!!! And he was telling me that the courses taught things in a much clearer member...........So, even though the courses section does not teach problem solving skills, it at least strengthens the basic fundamentals.........

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I'd take the position that teaching creative problem solving in an online course is a very challenging endeavor. However the community here formed hundreds of proficient problem solvers from scratch, which truly shows the effectiveness of collaboration.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Also there is another thing the staff forget to rectify before bringing the new changes. It is nothing but before brilliant was updated the wiki contributors' used to get many followers and I have also seen somewhere on brilliant that "The wiki writers and contributor's will be followed by users". But now the followers and following features are removed so the wiki contributor's are left with nothing.

So, the staff should think of any other feature for wiki writers. I personally suggest brilliant staff to add another feature in "Impact" on Contribution page mentioning "to how many wikies that particular user contributed". Let's say a particular user has contributed to 15 wikies in total then it should give in Impact as "15 wiki contribution's" .

How is this idea and what do you think about this @Calvin Lin , @Aaghaz Mahajan , @Hummus a , @Henry U , @Thành Đạt Lê and others.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, I dont think that the staff should rectify the changes...........you know, it would be better if the users notice the changes on their own.........

And yes, Impact is a good idea, but you know that t=you can find it in your profile right??? Just click on the "contributions" tab of your profile.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Why I mentioned this point because I like contributing to wikis and in fact I am doing that. But I don't know why but I am getting a feeling that the outcome of my hard-work is zero.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

@Calvin Lin and @Silas Hundt please respond

- 10 months ago

Sorry for replying late........I had a test at my coaching center........Anyways, Yeah you are right!!! The collaboration on challenging problems, well.......that depends on which field is considered to be challenging!! For instance, I find Calculus to be a great field (I think you too, seeing your "Who's ready for a challenge" series!!!) but, most of the members have stopped posting good problems.......Also, many members like Ishan Singh or Julian Poon or Anastasiya Romanova or Jake Lai or Kartik Sharma or Aditya Kumar........and many others have taken a break from Brilliant I guess..................Maybe people are not just active on the internet nowadays.........But anyways, I find the recent entries by @Thành Đạt Lê to be really fun.....(the discussions regarding the train..........@Hummus a You should check them out......!!).......at least some people are still active over here............But as far as I think, I personally would like to go back to the busy times of Brilliant around two years back........:)

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Wait, you read my stories? Thanks! It's still a story and not riddles. I thought it would be fun to put some riddles in there. I don't know someone actually read it.

Anyway, about Brilliant, I personally think that Daily and Weekly Problems should exist together, not one replaced the other. All of the emails I got from Brilliant is now nofitications and "New Daily Problems For You!". The users' problems are there to share interesting ideas (or asking how to do homework) to others. And the purpose of Weekly Problems is to get some of the most interesting problems to the spotlight for everyone to see. It was the red carpet for the problems and the awards for the users. I had had several problems on there, and I felt delighted when my problems are on there. (It is not the greatest achievement I could have, but everything counts.)

This change perhaps started when Brilliant was the sponsor for YouTube channels (Please don't ban me, Brilliant. These are just my opinions.) like TedEd, channels from the PBS Digital Studio,... TedEd and Brilliant would create a problem together (each month) and it would be posted on Weekly Problems (They were previously posted on Brilliant's courses.) by staffs. Recently, I haven't seen any riddles on TedEd.

Anyway, thanks for reading the stories, @Aaghaz Mahajan, I definitely will be active for months to come (if the platform doesn't become more boring).

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Ohhh yes dude!!! I read your stories AND I like them!!!!!! They are really great.........and even if there are riddles in there, just don't stop.....!! (You know, I also have an interest in writing, but I am writing more of an adventure novel........And that too in my notebook, so I dont think people would like to see my messy handwriting over here.....XD)

And WOW........I did not know about TedEd and Brilliant's collaboration!!!
But, yes.....even though I have not written any problems, I still enjoyed the problem of the week section........Let's hope Brilliant brings it back.......!!

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

@Thành Đạt Lê we would never ban you for saying with you think!

We'd love to keep both problems of the week and daily problems, but it is simply too much work for the small Brilliant staff, along with producing courses, etc. We need to eat and sleep at some point :)

My thought, after reading all of these different discussions about Problems of the Week – why don't the core group of community members start a Problems of the Week note and pick the best problems from the week? I would advise starting with a small number like 3 - 5. It takes a lot of work to put together a good problem of the week :)

Staff - 10 months ago

I have another suggestion: It would be great if you cut down to 1 problem each day and 9 problems each two weeks. I know that there are infinite concepts that the staff want to express through Daily Problems and too many good problems from the community to be put on the Problems of the Week section. Remember that there are courses for questions you put on Daily Problems and the "Popular" and "Needs Solutions" filters in the community section. This solution cuts down to 25 problems every two weeks, which is not that much for the staff of Brilliant. Aren't there supposed to be different people for different works in the offices?

- 10 months ago

I'm sorry, I can't parse your suggestion + question here!

Staff - 10 months ago

So where can you?

- 10 months ago

I can't parse that question either, I'm sorry!

Staff - 10 months ago

He did not understand your "question here" rather than "question" here. Simply rephrase it because I can't understand it either

- 10 months ago

@Hummus a I had meant to ask this before...........Where do you get your questions for Who's Up to the Challenge Series???? I mean, they are GREAT!!!! Are they all your original problems????!! If so, then Hats Off to you......!!!

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Another step taken by staff : "They have remove all the sets".

- 10 months ago

Oh no.... That was a terrible move. My set "Who's Up To the Challenge" had over 80 problems over years and I know of many other sets made by people such as Aditya Kumar and Pi Han Goh that were priceless learning tools. Why did they do so anyway?

- 10 months ago

Hi @Hummus a and @Ram Mohith – this is because we're in the process of rolling out a simplified version of the same feature, that will be collapsed into one (private) folder of saved items.

You can access all of your own and others' saved sets in your account settings, under "Export your data".

Staff - 10 months ago

I have never got to know the community you are talking about (because I just joined Brilliant), but I would really like to do something that helps bringing this community together again. I think that we all just have to know how this good community used to work, and then we can behave like back then and it will (hopefully) connect the community better and help everyone to get to know interesting problems and problem solving techniques.

For that, the experienced Brilliant users, like you @Hummus a, have to tell new users, like me, what to do and how to strengthen our relationships. At the moment, I don't really know how I can become a good community member; do I have to post good problems, ask interesting questions, write brilliant solutions; or something else? I'm looking forward to any responses, or tips!

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Hello!!!!! Hey, even I never got to know the community that well!!!! But, looking at the old notes and stuff I think that most of the people here knew each other...........so, one thing we can do is start knowing each other........this can lead to healthy discussions and lively spirit over here :) Coz, I think I am seeing only you guys being active on this site from a couple of weeks...........Also, to become a good community member needs support from other community members too...it can't be done individually!!! For instance, Thanh Dat Le's stories are a good initiative which you and I (and others too, maybe!!) enjoy!!! Now, this is a good community stuff I have seen after a looooooong time!!! Other things such as writing Brilliant solutions are already being taken care by you, I guess.......:) But yeah, we can also use your help too @Hummus a......!!

So, for introductions, here I go....I am Aaghaz Mahajan, 16 years old and I am from India............I am deeply interested in Mathematics!!! (I think you are too........seeing your comments on Levi Adam Walker's notes........!!!)...So, what about you all??? @Henry U @X X @Thành Đạt Lê @Hummus a @Ram Mohith and others!!

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

So, an introduction? That's easy, I am Lê Thành Đạt (This fond supports Vietnamese characters, great!), I am a 14-year-old but in 5 days according to today, I will be an adult (According to the law here, children are people under 15 years old. And I am typing this at midnight.) And I came from this place. Yes, I am writing a story about a kid and his grandfather. That is confirmed.

I joined here 2 years ago and I have had several problems on the Problems of the Week section. (I didn't mean to brag.)

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Wow.........that place looks too OSM from the pic!!!!! I can spend a vacation there!!!!
Yes, we all know about your contributions to the problem of the week section.........XD!!! And I enjoy them, TBH.......They are quite thought provoking.....!!!

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Wait, where did you go on a vacation? Is it Vũng Tàu city?

- 10 months, 1 week ago

No..I did not go to a vacation, but I am saying that I CAN go to this place............Coz it looks reallly cool!!

- 10 months, 1 week ago

I have only been to Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, London and Scotland.........(Outside of India....!!)

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Well, that is a photo of Vũng Tàu city. It's a lively city with a lot of festivals hosted there. Tomorrow, a singer who left this place 10 years ago to go abroad will come back and have a live show!

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Hey that's nice!!!! I have never been to a live concert ever......!!! Who is the singer???

P.S. Are you interested in Western Classical Music???

- 10 months, 1 week ago

He is Tuấn Vũ. And I do enjoy classical music. It sounds great. And this is my opinion, please don't hate me, but classical music and pop music have a lot of similarities in constructing the music piece.

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Well, go then. A lot of beaches have been closed because of water pollution by trash tourists left. But this place hasn't had that happened, ever! The rules are very strict, and the scenery is spectacular.

Another problem with beaches that companies try to block the walkway to the seas and start building hotels there, making it difficult for locals to visit the beach. That is not what is happening here.

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Hey....that pollution problems pertains in every country.......Over here too, A famous Beach in Mumbai has been totally changed !!!! Earlier, it was so soothing to go there, but now, we can only see litter all around.....!!! But whoah.....Companies are building HOTELS on the beach???!! Where is that happening??

- 10 months, 1 week ago

In my country, a lot of provinces have this problem. So that you have to pay money to get to the beaches, instead of the past, when people can just go there anytime they want. At here, there is a rule for times you can go to certain parts of the beach (4h - 22h, I think so.). But at the other parts, the past hasn't changed.

- 10 months, 1 week ago

But our Visakhapatnam Beach is an exception. It is better and clean when compared to many beaches around world. Although new hotels are coming on the beach road government is taking as many steps as possible to keep Vizag beach as neat as possible.

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Yes, there is not a lot of beaches with that much of a protection from the government. The ecosystem is still safe at these places. I love that I live in a city that has the government like this, caring about their citizens.

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Hey!!!!! Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!! May you have a great year!!!! (Now that you are legally an adult, its gonna be osm!!!)........

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Thanks, but there is one thing I am worried about. You know when you're a kid and you don't have to take any big responsibilities, but when you're an adult, people expect you to know everything about real-life skills and experiences. (And I'm more on the introvert side.) So...

- 10 months, 1 week ago

I am a 15 year old (I know, my account says 16 but with 15 I couldn't have joined Brilliant) student from Germany. I signed up on Brilliant in October 2018, mainly because I love solving problems and this is a great platform for problems of all kinds. My favourite topics are (as you might be able to tell from my topic levels) discrete mathematics and number theory.
Besides maths, I also do athletics and percussion (playing drums).

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

15?? I thought you were my age too!!!!!..lol...........Yup....I see that your Discrete maths is pretty good............Although, I never found it appealing..........I don't know why........

And, also, I dont like athletics and Sports of any kind for that matter.........BUT, Percussion??!!! That's Cool!!!!! I play Guitar.............also, I self taught myself how to play the Piano..........and after about five six months of practise, I am be very fluent in playing my school's Grand Piano!!!(Just something I like about myself.........!!)

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Hi !!! To introduce myself I'am Ram Mohith, 15 years old an I am from India. I love science very much and physics I like a lot as our day life is based on science (an especially on physics). I don't feel that science is a subject divided into 3 parts (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) and I won't treat it like that too. But I show more keen and interest towards physics.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Nice!!!!! So, 10th Class right??? Where are you from exactly???
And yup, I knew about your interests, guessing from the type of questions you post....:)
But, yeah, I also would prefer Physics over Chem and Bio..............!!

- 10 months, 1 week ago

I am 11 th class (I know my many will be confused because of my age but I will be 16 in 2 months).

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Check my Fact File Series. There or still more to come.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I am wondering if Slack is still used by Brilliant? That was the way the Brilliant community really communicated and strong bonds were made. Everyone there was close friends with each other, and several chats existed for each interest(I remember the integrals and series one which was very fun). Other than that, posting interesting problems and notes would obviously help. The notes should be the place for any discussion on an open problem or something you are struggling to solve. If you have an interesting solution, please post it! I tend to leave my problems without a solution because I want to encourage others to post theirs, which a lot of the time beats mine in ingenuity.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Hi @Hummus a and @Henry U – we shut down the Slack because of how little it was used. I encourage you to connected on other platforms, and collaborate on Brilliant through discussions like this :)

Staff - 10 months ago

Hello Hummus. Yes, Brilliant has gone through a lot of changes recently, the biggest of which being the switch from "Problems of the Week" to "Daily Problems." The goal of this change is to give free users a high-quality curated learning experience that is similar to our courses.

We still have many of the same community features. Users can create notes (like this one), problems, and wikis. We'll continue to support these features in the future.

Staff - 10 months, 2 weeks ago

But I request to keep an additional feature which I mentioned earlier for wiki writer's (like me and many others) so that many will be encouraged to contribute to wiki's and Brilliant previous activeness will come back up to some extent.

- 10 months, 2 weeks ago

- 10 months, 1 week ago

As I have said to someone else on another thread, do not expect the Brilliant staff to follow through with your "requests"; they are motivated to make Brilliant money, and if they have identified that abandoning this stuff in favour of pushing content for the premium members, that's their prerogative. I understand and respect their decision if they at least admit to such.

- 10 months, 1 week ago

But they should think once. Because I am not asking for any "requests" rather they are a sort of "honour" for the wiki contributor's.

- 10 months, 1 week ago

I can understand your concern, given your youth and lack of real-world experience. Unfortunately, business does not work by listening to one person; I have predicted for over a year that Brilliant.org is pushing to have all their content to the subscription model. After all, it's their only source of revenue; I can understand. By the end of 2019 or 2020, expect to see the entire community tab gone.

- 10 months, 1 week ago

@Ram Mohith – despite this person's feelings of dismay, we have no intention of removing the community tab, and in fact do intend to make changes to wiki pages along the lines that you mentioned.

Staff - 10 months ago

Thank You.

- 10 months ago

You bet.

Staff - 10 months ago

I hope that is not their intention although the updates indeed suggest that.

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Ultimately, you cannot judge them by what they say but by what they do. With Brilliant.org's push towards getting people to subscribe for a fee over the past year it would be disingenuous for them to continue with the community tab, as Brilliant.org would have a lot of lost revenue. I'm relieved to see that they have addressed this issue, but obviously it's sad to see that they are going to worry less and less about the community tab.

- 10 months, 1 week ago

Hi @Ram Mohith – we're planning on making changes along the lines that you describe... it will require work and patience though!

Staff - 10 months ago