Online Program (2020 Spring)

Registration for this program is closed.

If you have any inquiries please contact us.

IDEA MATH Online is a program designed to reach students worldwide. It is designed for students who take pleasure in tackling challenging math problems. In this program, we strive to provide students with a mathematical education that helps them develop critical thinking, analytical reasoning and problem solving skills.

Like our other programs, our online program is designed around IDEA MATH's philosophy that students learn best by discovering essential theorems and techniques, rather than simply memorizing.

For self-paced online program, learning is done through a series of videos lectures that show the interactions between two of our instructors working on a problems together. This course design allows 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. With our video lectures, students can see multiple ways to solve a problem as well as the inspiration behind these methods. With 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 mindset and strategies to think of a method to solve the problem.

Courses Structure

Each course consists of 10 units. Each unit consists of series approximately 45 minutes of video discussion clips, which we expect students to spend about 2 hours watching (that is, including the time working along with the discussions). After that, we assign 3 - 4 hours of homework and going over review videos. For each unit, we distribute a set of problems and a series of short video lectures prepared by our instructors. Students study selected problems and concepts following the discussions and instructions given. Afterwards, they are assigned homework that will be submitted electronically. The work will be reviewed and returned with feedback and detailed comments. Finally, students are invited to watch another series of short video lectures in which we discuss some of the more challenging problems in the unit and reflect on their problem solving approach.

IDEA MATH's curriculum for the online program comes in two components.

Our Integrated Math courses cover Algebra and Geometry. We strongly recommend students complete the appropriate level of Integrated Math before doing Math Challenges, as we believe that the knowledge of the core subjects is essential to a student's development. Each course is a coherent sequence covering in greater depth the fundamental content taught in schools (school enrichment).

Our Math Challenges courses cover Algebra, Geometry, Counting, and Number Sense with the assumption that students have already mastered the fundamentals appropriate for their level. Each course covers select topics and is designed to stretch students who already have strong fundamentals. Specialized and in-depth techniques are developed, including those applicable to mathematical competitions.

About our Video Lecture Series

The videos often begin with the instructors introducing a carefully chosen problem from the unit. Students are then asked to pause the video and spend a few minutes to try their own approaches to solve the problem. Afterwards, instructors provide their own insights to solving the problem - for example 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. At each of these steps, students take 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 while helping them discover their own solution.

Our program introductory videos can be found here [watch program video].


Our main form of communication is through email. For important announcements, we will email all enrolled students. For feedback on their work, students will receive individual emails from the grader(s) as they submit their work. For each each homework, the grader will assign a score and give individualized comments on the submission, usually in the form of a pdf scan of the homework with grader's comments and suggestions annotated. In addition, students are welcome and encouraged to email the instructors with their questions questions at any time through the course.


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 and an expert on problem solving based curricula (from the secondary school 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, Ivan Borsenco, and Zhuo Qun (Alex) Song are the main presenters in our teaching mini video series.

Courses Offered
 PCX part 1 - Integrated Math 3
 PCX part 2 - Math Challenges 3
 UC1 part 1 - Integrated Math 4
 UC1 part 2 - Math Challenges 4
 UC2 part 1 - Integrated Math 5
 UC2 part 2 - Math Challenges 5
 UC3 part 1 - Integrated Math 6
 UC3 part 2 - Math Challenges 6
 RCX part 1 - Integrated Math 7
 RCX part 2 - Math Challenges 7
 MO2 - Introduction to Math Olympiads (Algebra & Number Theory)
 MO2 - Introduction to Math Olympiads (Combinatorics & Geometry)
 MO3 - Intermediate Math Olympiads (Algebra & Number Theory)
 MO3 - Intermediate Math Olympiads (Combinatorics & Geometry)

Please see our placement and curriculum guide for more information about our curriculum and our general class placement procedures.


Please note: It is more important for a student to keep pace with the course than to complete every unit to the point of perfection at the sacrifice of time. Sometimes students will be unable to solve a few of the assigned problems in the 3 - 4 hours expected to be spent doing the homework. If these problems are necessary for later development (i.e. they are particularly illustrative toward a mathematical concept covered later), we will cover them in future lectures. This way, students can confidently budget their time to work through each unit on schedule.

Each session has an expected schedule which sets the standard pace we expect (approximately two weeks per unit). For students starting late, you must begin in time to submit the first homework by the grading cutoff date. Also, the end of each session overlaps with the beginning period of the next session. Students wanting to continue into the next session should plan to finish slightly ahead of the expected submission date (for example by beginning earlier or by completing two units during some school breaks).
Early Start Date* Expected Start Date Latest Start Date
Dec 15 Jan 2 Feb 10

*The early start date is the earliest date on which students can receive the materials for Units 1 and 2 and begin the program. Once the first two units are submitted, students should notify us whether they want to receive the remaining units or they want to withdraw from the program.
Unit Expected
Submission Date
Grading cutoff
1 Jan 15 Feb 15
2 Jan 31 Feb 29
3 Feb 15 Mar 15
4 Feb 29 Mar 30
5 Mar 15 Mar 30
6 Mar 31 Apr 15
7 Apr 15 Apr 30
8 Apr 30 May 15
9 May 15 May 31
10 May 31 Jun 15

Registration & Tuition

Before you start - How to contact IDEA MATH

As always, we welcome all applicants’ 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 include 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)

Registration to Online Program

The IDEA MATH staff will review your course selection to ensure it is appropriate before admitting you. Payment will be accepted only after admission. Registrations will be reviewed on a rolling basis; generally registrations submitted by any given Friday will be reviewed by the following Monday.

Please note that we may change your course to one that is more appropriate based on the information you provide about your mathematical background. If you agree with the course placement, you can pay tuition by the "latest start date" to be enrolled.

It usually takes 2-3 days to process your tuition payment. Once your payment is processed you will have access to the first two units (1-2) of the course. The "Early start date" is the earliest date on which students can receive the materials and begin the program.

A partial refund is available to students who choose to withdraw before choosing receiving unit 3 materials (see our refund policy below). After completing the first two units, please go to your account to choose whether to either (a) withdraw and receive a partial refund; or (b) receive the remaining materials (units 3–10). You can also withdraw before completing the first two weeks if you choose.

Course Placement

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. If our academic staff sees 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

Tuition Schedule and Amount
Tuition $795
PCX part 1 -- Integrated Math 3 component
UC1 part 1 -- Integrated Math 4 component
UC2 part 1 -- Integrated Math 5 component
UC3 part 1 -- Integrated Math 6 component
RCX part 1 -- Integrated Math 7 component

Tuition $995
PCX part 2 -- Math Challenges 3 component
UC1 part 2 -- Math Challenges 4 component
UC2 part 2 -- Math Challenges 5 component
UC3 part 2 -- Math Challenges 6 component
RCX part 2 -- Math Challenges 7 component
MO2 - Introduction to Math Olympiads (Algebra & Number Theory)
MO2 - Introduction to Math Olympiads (Combinatorics & Geometry)
MO3 - Intermediate Math Olympiads (Algebra & Number Theory)
MO3 - Intermediate Math Olympiads (Combinatorics & Geometry)

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.

Pay Tuition

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

Tuition Refund Policy for Each Session
Withdraw Request Made by Refund Amount
Before units 3 - 10 are released (Paid Tuition) - $350
After units 3 - 10 are released 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. The IDEA MATH staff makes 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.