Skip to Content
MIT Alumni News

Competitive math

Since 1981, MIT students have been squaring off at the annual MIT Integration Bee.

Adithya Balachandran ’25 writes on a chalkboard while someone seated in the foreground looks on.
Jade Chongsathapornpong ’24

Adithya Balachandran ’25 works on a problem at the 43rd Annual MIT Integration Bee in January. Students who place in the top 16 on a 20-minute, 20-question test qualify for the first round, in which four students compete to solve each integral. Then eight students advance to a seeded single-elimination playoff bracket.

“With the timer running down, I focused on mentally running through potential strategies to simplify the integral into something I knew how to evaluate more easily,” says Balachandran, who also qualified to compete in the 2023 bee. “The need to think fast is what makes the Integration Bee so exciting.”

When competitors are tied, the round moves to a speed-based sudden-death format with easier integrals and the fastest solver prevails. Brian Liu ’25 won three sudden-death rounds to become 2024’s Grand Integrator.

Balachandran says the unique mathematical tradition is “a truly wonderful experience for math enthusiasts like me to channel our love for calculus.”

Want to test your own integration skills? Set a timer for 20 minutes and take the 2024 qualifier test. Then check your work here.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

How scientists traced a mysterious covid case back to six toilets

When wastewater surveillance turns into a hunt for a single infected individual, the ethics get tricky.

It’s time to retire the term “user”

The proliferation of AI means we need a new word.

The problem with plug-in hybrids? Their drivers.

Plug-in hybrids are often sold as a transition to EVs, but new data from Europe shows we’re still underestimating the emissions they produce.

Sam Altman says helpful agents are poised to become AI’s killer function

Open AI’s CEO says we won’t need new hardware or lots more training data to get there.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.