In addition to sponsoring math enrichment in the form of courses around novel and motivating mathematics, the Math Circles of Chicago also sponsors QED, Chicago’s only Youth Math Symposium. QED is an opportunity for children to take the next step beyond math circles and do inquiry into novel mathematics of their own creation.

QED 2020 will be held online the morning of December 5h.

Register Here

Pre-Registration for QED 2020 is closed. The pre-registration deadline was November 14th, 2020. If you have questions, email

What is a Math Symposium?

A Math Symposium is similar to Science Fair, except that the projects focus on math instead of science. The math projects can be extensions of classroom problems or competition problems that a student has found interesting.

QED is the name of our Math Symposium. QED is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase “quod erat demonstrandum,” which is commonly used to signal the completion of a mathematical proof.

Chicago is an area with a large number of strong math students. Although our city has solid representation at math competitions, our city is under-represented at statewide and nationwide math fairs. We hope that QED will foster students’ interest in mathematics and, in so doing, showcase Chicago’s strength in mathematics.

Questions? Email us at

Deadlines, Dates, and Rubrics

  • Students intending to enter the symposium must pre-register on our website no later than 11/14/20.
  • Senior Division must submit a paper at the time of pre-registration.
  • Junior and Intermediate Divisions have to submit a title at the time of pre-registration. Their papers are due by December 1st.
  • Students should have their online ‘poster’ ready to present; they do not need to submit this early. [Previously this page said “By December 1st, all students must submit a link to their online ‘poster’.”–this was an error. Sorry!]
  • Pre-registration MUST occur electronically; we will not accept phone or paper pre-registrations.
  • Saturday, December 5, 2020 – Presentation Day–Online!
  • Entries will be judged using these rubrics for the Senior Division and for the Junior and Intermediate Divisions.
  • Requirements for papers and presentation boards are on the pre-registration page here.

Project Categories

In general, quality work will not be penalized for being entered into the “wrong” category, so long as there seems to be a reasonable relationship between the paper and category. For example, a project incorporating a new technique for simulating the drilling of holes could be entered in either the applied math or computer science category without penalty.

  • Pure mathematics: includes number theory, probability, and extensions of traditional algebra “word” problems
  • Applied mathematics: any problems arising out of real-world situations, including computer simulations of such situations
  • Computer science: problems involving algorithms, computability, complexity

Math Research Links

Finding a good research problem can be as easy as extending a problem from class or a contest. For example, “How many integers are factors of 144?” could become, “How can you count the number of factors of a given integer?”

Other resources are listed at right, and further down this page you can find projects submitted in previous years. Click here to learn about the QED advisor program.

Know of another? Email and we’ll add it to the list!

Pre-Registration for QED 2020 is closed. If you have questions, email

Register Here

Anticipated Math Symposium Schedule (Online)

Saturday, December 5th, 2020

8:30AM Opening Ceremony

9:00AM–11:00AM Judging   Each project will be judged twice within a one hour span during this interval.

11:00AM The annual ‘Guesstimathon’!

1:00PM-1:30PM QED Speaker Alex Furman, Distinguished Mathematics Professor, UIC

1:30PM-1:45PM Awards Ceremony

We Need Your Help!

QED is looking for volunteers to help with logistics and, crucially, to judge projects and offer young researchers constructive (and encouraging) criticism at our symposium on December 5th. If you are interested, please email–thanks!