
Summer Conference
[ Mission  2001 
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13th Summer Conference, Subbotica, 2001
Garry Goldstein
The summer conference is an extension of the Tournament of Towns
Competition. Each year over one hundred students from 30 countries come to
participate in the tenday conference. On the day of arrival (after a brief
organizational meeting where rooms are assigned) the participants divide
themselves into teams of two or three (usually your roommates end up your
teammates). The individual scores for the competition are based on the total
team scores (which are based on how many problems you've solved as a team).
There are five or six problem sets (each with ten to twenty problems). The
problems on each problem set are posed by a team of two to three professors (as
such each problem set has a general theme based on the professors' area of
interest). Each team is expected to concentrate on one or two of these problem
sets. Now on the first (and sometimes morning of the second day) each team of
two or three professors gives a brief presentation (one hour) on their problem
set. This presentation may include some hints or an exotic theorem that you may
wish to use while solving the problem set. Now it is unlikely that your team
will solve all the problems on any one of the problem sets since a few are
extremely challenging (on the other hand there are usually one or two giveaways
and several problems are loosely based on the previous ones). Now you are given
five days to solve as many of the problems as possible. On the fifth day there
is a day of rest (some kind of outing or picnic) and you are expected to hand
your first set of solutions. These are marked and preliminary scores are posted
the next day. On day six each of the five or six teams of professors gives a
second (two hour) presentation. During this presentation each team of professors
presents a second problem set as well as solutions to some of the easier
problems on their first problem set. After this you have four days to solve
problems from the second problem set and the remaining problems from the first.
You hand in the solutions for marking. The five or six teams of professors and
the organizers confer (and eventually decide on the winning teams). On the last
day there is an award ceremony.
 
  