Online Program

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The IDEA MATH online program is a new way of learning math. It is designed for young and able students who take pleasure in tackling challenging math problems. In this program we strive to provide students with a math education that helps them develop critical thinking, analytical reasoning and problem solving skills.

IDEA MATH was founded in 2007 as a weekend program for able students in the Greater Boston area. A few years later, the IDEA MATH program extended to a winter program in California and summer programs throughout the country. As time went on, we began to encounter many interesting topics that we wanted to share with all students worldwide, not just those who lived close by. Modern technology has now made this possible. The IDEA MATH online program aims to encompass knowledge that we believe to be essential for budding mathematicians.

Please watch these four videos in which we introduce our online program [watch program video] .

Courses Offered

2018 - 2019 Fall Session (Sept. 3, 2018 - Nov. 25, 2018)

 Courses  Description
 PCX  Integrated Math 2 (part 1) - Algebra and Geometry
 UC1  Integrated Math 2 (part 2) - Algebra and Geometry
 UC2  Integrated Math 3 (part 1) - Algebra and Geometry
 UC3  Integrated Math 3 (part 2) - Algebra and Geometry
 RC1  Integrated Math 4 (Part 1) - Analytic Methods in Geometry
 MO2 (Math Olympiads 2)  Algebra & Number Theory
 MO3 (Math Olympiads 3)  Algebra & Number Theory

2018 - 2019 Winter Session (Nov. 26, 2018 - Apr. 14, 2019)

 Courses  Description
 PCX  Math Challenges 3 - Extra-curricular/contest extension in Algebra, Counting, Geometry, and Number Sense
 UC1  Math Challenges 4 - Extra-curricular/contest extension in Algebra, Counting, Geometry, and Number Sense
 UC2  Math Challenges 5 - Extra-curricular/contest extension in Algebra, Counting, Geometry, and Number Sense
 UC3  Math Challenges 6 - Extra-curricular/contest extension in Algebra, Counting, Geometry, and Number Sense
 RC1  Math Challenges 7 - Extra-curricular/contest extension in Algebra, Counting, Geometry, and Number Sense
 MO2 (Math Olympiads 2)  Combinatorics and Geometry
 MO3 (Math Olympiads 3)  Combinatorics and Geometry

Course Structure

Our online courses consists of two sessions: Fall session and Winter session.

The Fall Session will consist of 8 units and will run from September 3rd to November 25, 2018. During Fall session, in all courses, except Olympiad Math courses, students will study the core mathematics knowledge mostly covering topics from Algebra and Geometry. We call it Integrated Mathematics, because this material builds the foundations of a solid understanding of mathematics, adding to and deepening student's knowledge acquired in regular classrooms settings. Students have to comprehend this material, regardless if their goal is to compete or not to compete in math competitions.

The Winter Session will consist of 10 units and will last from November 26th to April 14th. The Winter session is designed for students who are interested in training for various math contests, in particular, for upcoming AMC, AIME, and USAMO competitions. Students will complete 8 units before 2019 AIME I and all 10 units before 2019 USAMO. In each unit, we start by distributing a set of problems and a series of specially-crafted mini videos. Students study selected problems and concepts following the discussions and instructions given in the mini videos. They will then work on the homework and submit their work electronically. Their work will be reviewed and returned with feedback and detailed comments. Finally, students are invited to watch another series of specially-crafted mini videos, in which we discuss some of the more challenging problems in the unit, and reflect on their approach to solving assigned problems.

Mini Video Lecture Series [watch demo videos]

We believe students learn best by discovering, rather than simply memorizing, essential theorems and techniques. Therefore, we think that video lectures should lead students through exercises, examples and explanations to build their understanding of mathematics, rather than simply give them theorems to memorize. Our videos show the interactions between two experienced, world class math instructors who are working on a problem together. This way, the viewer can see how they both think, hear their ideas and reasoning behind their thoughts, and experience the atmosphere of solving a math question.

Our video lectures have been created in layers that can bring students to their own new discoveries. Lectures often begin with the instructors introducing a carefully chosen problem from the unit. Students will then be given a few minutes to think about how they can approach this problem. Afterwards, instructors will provide their own insights to solving the problem - possibly by (but most certainly not limited to) pointing out patterns in the problem, attempting to make an educated guess or examining special cases to discover more about how the given problem behaves. Instructors will break down the problem step by step, adding new layers of intricacy to each question. During this succession, students will be given several breaks to think about what has been said in the video and use any hints given by the instructors. This structure allows students to receive an appropriate amount of guidance without preventing them from discovering their own solution.

By watching these videos, students can see multiple ways to solve a problem, as well as the inspiration behind these methods. Due to the layered structure of each video, students will have the opportunity to discover mathematics on their own accord rather than simply see a solution being presented. We hope that students will begin to ask, "Why would I solve the problem this way?" in addition to the standard, "How do I solve this problem?" This way, when students encounter a difficult problem later on, they have the mental capacity and the study strategies to think of a method to solve the problem.

Each lecture will be around 1 hour long. The video lecture will have a layered structure that requires the student not only to listen, but to also pause the video and work on problems on their own.


Our main form communication is through email. All important announcements will be emailed to all students enrolled in the course. In addition, students can email the instructor with questions throughout the course.

On an individual basis, students will receive constant feedback from the instructor. Every two weeks, the instructor will grade and give comments on a student's submitted homework, often in the form of a scanned file with an instructor's comments and suggestions annotated on a student's homework submission. Additionally, students will be able to ask instructors individualized questions at any time. On a class-wide scope, there will be means of communication that will allow students to learn from their peers and through group discussion. Students will be able to ask questions addressed to the entire class while enrolled in our online program.


The program will be run by a highly selective group of teachers led by Dr. Zuming Feng. Zuming led the USA Math Olympiad team and its training program for fifteen years. He is one the most prominent math instructors in the USA on problem solving based curriculums (from secondary school level to college level). Every member of our teaching group is a responsible and enthusiastic math educator with extensive problem solving experience.

The teaching materials will be mainly written by Zuming Feng. Zuming Feng, Ivan Borsenco, and Zhuo Qun (Alex) Song are the main presenters in our teaching mini video series.


Fall 2018 - 2019 Schedule
Unit Material availability date Expected homework submission date
1 Sept. 3 Sept. 13
2 Sept. 14 Sept. 23
3 Sept. 24 Oct. 4
4 Oct. 5 Oct. 14
5 Oct. 15 Oct. 25
6 Oct. 26 Nov. 4
7 Nov. 5 Nov. 15
8 Nov. 16 Nov. 25
Winter 2018 - 2019 Schedule
Unit Material availability date Expected homework submission date
1 Nov. 26 Dec. 9
2 Dec. 10 Dec. 23
3 Dec. 24 Jan. 6
4 Jan. 7 Jan. 20
5 Jan. 21 Feb. 3
6 Feb. 4 Feb. 17
7 Feb. 18 Mar. 3
8 Mar, 4 Mar. 17
9 Mar. 18 Mar. 31
10 Apr. 1 Apr. 14

Registration procedure

Before you start - How to contact IDEA MATH

As always, we welcome all applicant's specific academic questions about our curriculum, course selection, placement and teaching styles, as well as students' class-work and preparation. Applicants are also welcome to consult our academic staff via email at -- please make sure to put the email subject in the following form:

Student Full Name (ID #) Inquiry»

(For example, John Smith (ID 1234) Weekend Program Placement)

Create an account:

New students, please create an account

It is important for the applicant to input as much detailed information as possible. In particular age, high school graduation year, detailed math background -- courses taken, and contests taken -- rounds and scores (rather than ranks)

Select a course

Please read the Course Placement Policy section and academic page for more information. Our academy staff review a student's course selection and student's overall mathematical background information in their account. If academic staff see a potential mismatch, they will communicate with the applicant to help decide the course/placement test that will best suit the applicant. Applicants are also welcome to consult our academic staff about course selection via email to

Course Placement Policy

Returning IDEA Math student intending to the online program will be placed into the most appropriate class per the recommendation given by their most recent IDEA Math instructor. If you have questions regarding course placement recommendations, please contact

Applicants new to our program who wish to apply for the online program should create an account, enter information in their account about their mathematical background, and read through our academic grid to determine the course they intends to take.

After reviewing applicant's background in detail, the IDEA Math staff will provide both feedback and a course placement recommendation.

Register for class

Please log in to your account to register for our online program. Please contact us (email to if you have any questions regarding the registration process.

Please Note: There is no application fee and students are only required to pay the tuition for the session they registered for. However, the registration is not complete until the tuition is paid in full.

Pay Tuition

Please log in to your account to pay the tuition online.

Registration /Tuition Schedule and Amount

Session 1 Tuition Schedule (Class Time: Sept. 2018 - Nov. 2018)

Course Registration and Tuition Paid By* Amount
PCX, UC1, UC2, UC3, RC1, MO2, MO3 Sept. 3, 2018 $795

Session 2 Tuition Schedule (Class Time: Nov. 2018 - Apr. 2019)

Course Registration and Tuition Paid By* Amount
PCX, UC1, UC2, UC3, RC1, MO2, MO3 Nov. 26, 2018 $995

*Registration is ONLY completed when tuition is paid in full.

**While students can register for our online program at any time during the session, students who pay tuition after this date may not have the chance to receive individualized feedback on homework assigned before registration was complete. However, once a student completes registration, they will have access to all videos and problem sets.

Tuition Refund Policy for Each Session

Withdraw Request Made by Refund Amount
Before the 1st unit (Paid Tuition) - $100
Before the 3rd unit (Paid Tuition) - $400
After the 3rd unit starts No refund

Please note that the tuition payment is independent to student's course placement because the tuition is for registration to the program, not for a specific course. IDEA MATH staff work with students on course placement by extensively reviewing their academic backgrounds, assigning placement tests, reviewing placement test work, and more. IDEA MATH staff make the final decision on students' course placements. (Please see our Course Placement Policy section for details.) All-tuition refunds (in written form, we do not accept online) will be processed based on our refund policy.