Integration Bee


Finalists of the 2006 MIT Integration Bee, with the champion, dubbed the "Grand Integrator" in the middle.

The Integration Bee is an annual integral calculus competition pioneered in 1981 by Andy Bernoff, an applied mathematics student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[1][2] Similar contests are administered each year in many universities and colleges across the United States and in a number of other countries.

Rules and conventions

Prospective participants may first need to take a qualifying exam.[1] The contest is then arranged in a manner similar to a sports tournament; those who incorrectly evaluate integrals after a certain number of trials get eliminated. Constants of integration may be ignored, but the final answer must be in reduced form and in terms of the original variable.[3] At some institutions, such as MIT, contestants will evaluate assigned integrals on a chalkboard in front of the audience,[4] but in some others, such as the University of Connecticut, they may do so in their seats on a piece of paper.[3] Contestants may be all students from the hosting institution (such as MIT or the University of California, Berkeley),[5][6] undergraduates only (University of Connecticut),[3] or undergraduates and high-school students (University of North Texas).[7]

Participants are expected to be familiar with the standard methods of integration.[7]

Prizes are in cash,[8] vouchers,[6] and/or books.[5]

U.S. competitions

Viewers and participants of the 2020 Berkeley Integration Bee

Integration Bee contests continue to be held at MIT, with the champion being awarded with a hat carrying the title, "Grand Integrator." Contestant evaluate a variety of challenging integrals on the chalk board in front of their peers, many of whom either cheer in support in a manner similar to an athletic event or work out the problems on their own. It is all about speed and correctness.[4]

Integration Bee contests are now regularly conducted in major American universities, including the University of Florida,[9] the Florida Polytechnic University,[10] the University of Scranton (Pennsylvania),[11] Connecticut College,[12] the Central Connecticut State University,[13] the State University of New York,[14] the University of Wisconsin–Madison,[15] Prairie State College (Illinois),[16] the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign,[17] University of Dayton (Ohio),[18] Louisiana Tech University,[19] the University of North Texas,[7] Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University,[20] Fresno State University,[21] Cosumnes River College,[22] the University of California, Berkeley,[6] various other institutions in California,[23] and the Oregon State University.[24]

The Louisiana/Mississippi chapter of the Mathematical Association of America is responsible for holding the Integration Bee in these two states[25] and the American Mathematical Society the University of Connecticut.[3]

Non-U.S. competitions

A Philippines integration competition (often shortened as Integ Bee) was originally held four times at the University of the Philippines Diliman, located in Quezon City, Philippines, and sponsored by UP Physics Association (UPPA). Subsequently, the competition was scaled up to allow undergraduates of other Philippines universities to participate.[26] One typical event in 2014 at the Philippines National Institute of Physics, allowed contestants to test their accuracy and speed, capability in mental solving, and mastery in evaluating integrals.[26] The winner received a cash prize of 5,000 Philippine pesos (about €100 or US$113), whilst two runners-up received 1,000 pesos (about €20 or US$22).[8]

The Integration Bee is also held at the University of New South Wales, Australia,[27] and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune.[28]


Champions of the Integration Bee are awarded with held in high honor and while they are not contributing anything original in the contests as integral calculus is no longer an active research topic, success in the Integration Bee is linked to success in some areas of mathematics.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b 2014 MIT Integration Bee
  2. ^ 1981 The Tech photo essay on Integration Bee
  3. ^ a b c d "Integration Bee". AMS Student Chapter, University of Connecticut. 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Baker, Billy (January 20, 2012). "An integral part of MIT life". Boston Globe. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Turner, Paxton (2020). "40th Annual MIT Integration Bee". Integration Bee. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c "Integration Bee". Berkley SPS. University of California, Berkley. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c "Integration Bee". College of Science, Department of Mathematics, University of North Texas. 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Integration Bee 2014: Into the Galaxy
  9. ^ 2013 University of Florida Integration Bee
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ University of Scranton Seventh Annual Integration Bee
  12. ^ "Four honored with College's highest faculty awards". Connecticut College. May 11, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  13. ^ "Integration Bee". Mathematics. Central Connecticut State University. 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  14. ^ Integration Bees Past and Present, State University of New York, New Paltz
  15. ^ Reardon, Jim (May 8, 2012). "University of Wisconsin Integration Bee". University of Wisconsin-Madison Physics. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  16. ^ "Integration Bee". Mathematics. Prairie State College. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  17. ^ Hari, Shyam (February 23, 2020). "Second Edition! Integration Bee 2020". Illinois Integration Bee. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  18. ^ "An Integration Celebration for UD Undergraduates". University of Dayton College of Arts and Sciences. 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  19. ^ McKnight, Brandy (February 10, 2017). "Inaugural Integration Bee showcases students' mathematics skills". Louisiana Tech University. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  20. ^ "Integration Bee Results". Mathematics Department, Brigham Young University. 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  21. ^ "Twelfth Annual Fresno State Integration Bee". Archived from the original on 2015-02-19. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  22. ^ Lee, Jared (May 3, 2017). "Students competed in math competition to exercise their skills". The CRC Connection. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  23. ^ Hartland, Tucker (May 23, 2019). "SIAM Student Chapter Conference Unites Valley Regional Applied Mathematics Community". University of California Merced News Room. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  24. ^ "Pi Week: Integration Bee". College of Science, Oregon State University. 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  25. ^ Evans, Chrystal (March 16, 2018). "Denham Springs student places third in Mathematical Association of America competition". The Living Parish News. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  26. ^ a b Integration Bee 2014: Into the Galaxy — first speed integration contest in Metropolitan Manila
  27. ^ "Integration Bee Champions". MathSoc. University of New South Wales. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  28. ^ Khan, Ashwin (March 8, 2017). "The numbers game". Pune Mirror. Retrieved February 6, 2021.

External links

  • Integration Bee website
  • Facebook page of the Integration Bee
  • On-line portal, UP Physics Association
  • Twitter account, UP Physics Association