OTIS is an olympiad training program for students aiming to do well on USA(J)MO or similar level contests. It is designed for contestants who are comfortable reading and writing proofs and able to confidently qualify for national olympiad, e.g. consistently 10+ on AIME for American contestants. (Students at other levels should feel welcome to contact me for referrals to other mentors.)
OTIS is centered around two-week topic units (my design) which I pick for each participant based on their background. Each unit comes with a problem set of about 10-15 olympiad problems meant to take about two weeks. Each semester is 12 weeks. Additionally, 10-14 olympiad-style practice exams (each emulating a day of a typical olympiad) are assigned throughout the year (graded in full).
A rough estimate of the time commitment might be 5-10 hours per week, although there is a large variance.
Some students have brief weekly or biweekly lectures (I really mean "brief" here, like 45 minutes or so) but students can also take OTIS as a correspondence course with no lectures at all. It's also possible to have an instructor other than me.
Applications for OTIS Year V (starting September 2019 and ending April 2020) are now open, and the syllabus has been updated as well. I am hoping to select about 20-40 students.
The deadline to apply is August 1, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET. You will need to work on a fairly long set of problems for this application, so please, start early!
Usually I am not able to take all (or even most) requests, but even then I can often refer you to other instructors who are less busy than me. So feel free to reach out to me even if the deadline is long past; I may be able to connect you with someone else.
- Full syllabus (warning: long)
- Course synopsis (possible topics covered)
- Example unit: handout and solutions
- Example practice exam: JMO, USAMO, and solutions
- Example transcript: transcript
- Mini-book: The OTIS Excerpts
- Evan Chen: Director
- Anant Mudgal: Instructor
- Ankan Bhattacharya: Instructor
- Michael Ren: Instructor
- Zack Chroman: Instructor
- CJ Quines: Grader
Photo of OTIS at IMO 2018:
I started teaching in 2015 when a group of parents from Phillips Andover Academy emailed me in early April, asking if I'd be interested in coaching a group of five contestants. At the time I called it "Andover Olympiad Training", and would make a trip up north from MIT every Sunday to work with them.
Since then word has gotten around, and more and more requests have come to me. I now teach 10-15 contestants each semester from both coasts, meeting them online during my evenings and the weekends, in lieu of studying for my actual classes. Thus my part-time job is to work with some of the most talented and motivated math high schoolers in the country on the same problems that I loved so much back in high school. I have the best job in the world.
Here are some RMM/USAMO/EGMO/IMO results from past participants. This is not a claim that they performed well because of me; all of them were already strong before joining OTIS, and I think they would likely have done well even without me.
But sensei is still super proud of his kids even though he didn't do that much.