The Private Educational Institution Boarding Lyceum of Natural Science

A unique event – educational and entertaining math flashmob

LIEN hosts this flashmob with support from TV and Radio Broadcasting Company STRBC Saratov.
The media sponsors of the math flashmob "MathCat-2018" in Saratov are:

Саратовньюс СарБК Комсомольская правда Типичный Саратов СарИнформ ИА Свободные новости Эхо Москвы Саратов Весрия Общественное мнение

The history of MathCat

The idea of MathCat was born in Saratov (Russia) in 2014. Saratov private Boarding Lyceum of Natural Science (LIEN) took the initiative and with support of the State TV and Radio Broadcasting Company “Saratov” (STRBC Saratov) hosted the first in Russia and in a whole educational and entertaining math flashmob on November 29, 2014.

The motto of this flashmob is the following slogan: “Mathematics for adults and beyond!”

Trailers for the first math flashmob in 2014:

How MathCat works

  • MathCat is a non-commercial project during which anyone can check his or her mathematical knowledge while playing; participation in it is open and free for everyone.
  • The flashmob is held in written form; the participants gather in the classrooms by a certain time and on certain date and solve mathematical problems individually. The flashmob program commission develops original task sets of easy, medium or hard level of difficulty. The hosts named these sets “levels” or “leagues” respectively “white”, “green”, “yellow” and “red”.
  • The participants get tasks of all four levels. They choose one of the levels after evaluating their own abilities and write down answers and solutions for tasks in the answer sheet. The time period for completing tasks is fixed – 1.5 (clock) hours. The participants can turn in their works before the specified time.
  • Before the start of MathСat, online registration of participants begins on the website, where everyone can type in their names and surnames or nickname (to stay anonymous) and real phone numbers to get messages from the hosts.
  • The test results are confidential and available ONLY to the MathCat participant at the result announcement and awarding of “excellent students” with the delivery of the checked answer sheet, or later in the electronic database, the password to which is the unique code word sent to the participant’s phone number specified by him or her during registration.

Interesting facts about MathCat

In 2014 more than a hundred people wrote an unusual math test in Saratov within the walls of Boarding Lyceum of Natural Science.

In 2015 MathCat was held on a wide geographical scale: adults and children from Kaliningrad to Sakhalin set at desks to solve problems within the chosen level of difficulty. In total, 1 381 people participated in the MathCat-2015.

All sites were divided into two zones: “East” and “West”. At 9.00 Moscow time the participants in the east of Russia (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the Republic of Buryatia and Solikamsk (Perm Krai)) set at desks. The “West” zone started working at 15.00 Moscow time, it included the cities: Saratov, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don and Kaliningrad. The biggest sites by the number of participants were: in the “East” zone – the Republic of Buryatia, in the “West” zone – the city of Moscow.

In 2016 the project united 22 cities and 41 sites. In total, 18 regions of the Russian Federation responded to the event.

In terms of league distribution, 38% of participants in Saratov tried to solve the easiest tasks of the “white” league, 10% - of the “green” league, 20% - of the “yellow” league and 12% - of the “red” league. The maximum score in Saratov in leagues was 88 in the “white”, 85 in the “green”, 69 in the “yellow” and 48 in the “red”.

The winners (1st, 2nd and 3d places) were determined in each league independently of each other. In other words, the choice of level by each participant depended on the degree of his or her “mathematical ambitions” – many participants, realizing that they can perfectly solve the “green” level of tasks, preferred the “yellow” or even “red” level to their potential victory at a lower level.

A few days after the flashmob the section MathCat.Online was launched on the website for those who did not come to the site on the flashmob day due to different reasons.

Each site is trying to make MathCat even more interesting. Particularly in Saratov the hosts announce in advance that the math flashmob will be attended by a “Mr. X” – a person famous not only in Saratov but also in Russia. Among famous guests of the flashmob in Saratov, there are the owner of the title “The strongest man in Russia” Vyacheslav Maksyuta, the Russian designer of global renown Anna Ivanova and the Director of Saratov public park “Lukomorye” Elena Telegina.

In 2017 the fourth MathCat flashmob united adults and children from both hemispheres of the Earth. In total, 3800 people participated in MathCat-2017. The school in Ulaanbaatar turned out to be the site with the biggest number of participants: 450 flashmobers registered there. The site of the Russian school in the Australian city of Perth became the smallest in number of participants and the most distant from the birthplace of the flashmob: 9 participants solved the math test in English.