The Summer of Math Exposition (SoME) is an annual competition to foster the
creation of excellent math content online. You can participate as either a creator or judge.
Five winners will be selected to receive $1,000 and a golden pi creature, and twenty honorable
mentions will receive $500 each. Learn more
The competition has three phases:
Join the competition as a participant or judge
Participants all work on their projects. Most of the activity during this phase happens on Discord, where many people share partial progress, find collaborators, and ask questions.
Vote for the best contributions
Peer review! Everyone, whether or not they've submitted an entry, can participate. You'll be successively shown two entries and asked to vote on which is best and to optionally provide feedback (it's actually a ton of fun). In many ways, this is the heart of the event, and in past years this phase has been what jump-started meaningful exposure for many entries.
Results and feedback
A selection of judges drawn from the math communication community will select winners and honorable mentions from among other top 100 surfaced in the peer review. Winners will be featured in a 3blue1brown video, and awarded $1,000 each, along with the coveted golden pi creature.
Last year's competition
Discover the 5 winners of the last edition.
The 20 honorable mentions as well as the full list of entries is available
How it works
Is there a topic constraint?
It has to be about math.
Here we mean « math » very broadly, and more applied topics like physics or
computer science are abundantly welcome. It just has to be the case that a viewer/reader might
come away knowing something mathematical they didn't before.
The topic could be at any level, whether that's basic math for young children or higher-level
math. If you're assuming a certain background level for the target audience, kindly mention it
below. It's hard because we don't want to discourage topics with a very niche target audience,
as those lessons can sometimes be the most valuable. However, if your lesson assumes
particular expertise, e.g. a comfort with algebraic geometry, keep in mind that our judges may
not fit into this category. So to actually win the contest, it's helpful if the topic is
accessible to someone with, say, a background in standard undergrad math topics.
How many entries can I submit?
One entry per person / group
We hope you make more, but we only have the capacity to judge participants based on a single
Can I use an old entry?
It has to be something new you make this summer
The spirit of this is to encourage people who've never put stuff online before. If you want to
work on something you sort of started once before, that's probably fine, but it can't be
something you already published before this contest. Optimally, you'd use this as a chance to
try something new you otherwise might not have.
When is the registration deadline?
Creators can register until
If you want to participate as a judge you can register at any time, even after the vote has
Does it have to be in English?
It has to be available in English: subtitles or translation are needed.
If you want to put out an explainer in another language, wonderful! Please do! But the judges
here will be English speakers, so to be considered for the contest the lesson has to be
accessible to them.
Can I use copyrighted material?
By registering as a creator you agree to the following copyright notice:
I have permission to use all material contained in my submission for the Summer of Math Exposition.
Exception: We have a standing agreement with Desmos that you may use this software in the
How will winners be selected?
Here's what we're looking for:
Jargon should be explained, the goals of the lesson should be understandable with minimal background,
and the submission should generally display empathy for people unfamiliar with the topic.
Motivation: It should be clear to the reader/viewer within the first 30 seconds why they
Novelty: It doesn't necessarily have to be an original idea or original topic, but it
should offer someone an experience they might otherwise not have by searching around online.
Some of the greatest value comes from covering common topics in better ways. Other times there's
value in surfacing otherwise obscure ideas which more people should know about.
Memorability: Something should make the piece easy to remember even several months later.
Maybe it's the beauty of the presentation, the enthusiasm of the presenter, or the mind-blowingness
of an aha moment.
A peer review process will help filter the better entries. Then the admins will manually
select the best entries.
If your entry does not respect the rules or copyright notice you will not be eligible to
accept any prize money.
For longer works, judges might not be able to consume the full video/post. Again, what's hard
about this is that sometimes great explainers are longer, such as a full lecture and we don't
want to discourage those. Just understand that to select winners, there is only so much time
available for review, so the substance of your work should be clearly visible with a 5-10
Prizes and operations for this contest have been generously funded by