SMS Essay Competition 2017

“Mathematics and Big Data”

Winner's List - Winners will be invited to SMS Annual Prize Presentation on 2 September 2017.


  1. Objectives
  • In recent years, scientists and researchers have found new avenues for applying Mathematics and its techniques in unconventional ways, such as the different themes of this competition held in the past (2008 - Biological, 2009 - Astronomy, 2010 - Social Sciences, 2013 - Mathematics of Planet Earth, 2015 - Mathematics, Computation and Science).
  • The theme for this year’s SMS Essay Competition is “Mathematics and Big Data”. Machine learning, data mining, data analytics, data visualization and information security are some of the key components of Big Data that use Mathematics as their basis and they are being applied significantly in finance, transportation, social media, healthcare, education, sports and entertainment.
  • The main objectives of this year’s competition are to expose the students to the novel field of data science and to let the students discover applications of Mathematics in various aspects of Big Data.
  • We also hope that through this competition, students can get a feel for inter-disciplinary research.
  1. Categories
  • Category A:

- Express Stream (local): Secondary 1 and 2 students
- Normal Stream (local): Secondary 1, 2 and 3 students
- IP schools (local): Year 1 and 2 students
- International schools: Grade 6-8 (or equivalence)

  • Category B:

- Express Stream (local): Secondary 3 and 4 students
- Normal Stream (local): Secondary 4 and 5 students
- IP schools (local): Year 3 and 4 students
- International schools: Grade 9-10 (or equivalence)

  • Category C:

- Junior College (local): JC1 and 2 students
- IP schools (local): Year 5 and 6 students
- International schools: Grade 11-12 (or equivalence)

  1. Rules
  • Essay entry can be written by individual or a team of no more than 3 members from the same school.
  • Each school is allowed to submit a maximum of ten entries in each category.
  • Essay submitted for the competition must not have been submitted to any other inter-school competition organized by any other organization or been previously published in journal, magazine or any form of publication.
  • Upon submitting the essay, the participants are deemed to have transferred the copyright of the essay to the society should they win any prizes.
  • All essays should be written in English.
  • The length of the essay should be about 1000 words.
  • Each entry should include an abstract of not more than 100 words.
  • Materials submitted will become the property of the Singapore Mathematical Society and will not be returned.
  • All essays submitted will be posted anonymously in our SMS website for public access. Readers will be able to indicate if they like the essay.
  • The organizers reserve the right at any time to amend rules & regulations, replace or substitute prizes without prior notice.
  1. Judging
  • Essays submitted will be evaluated by a panel of judges made up of mathematicians and school teachers.
  • Each member of the panel of judges should not be involved in any supervision of any student’s writing of the essay.
  • Decisions made by the panel of judges shall be final.
  1. Submission
  • All students who wish to submit an essay for the competition must register their essay online before submission can be done.
  • Registration will be done online here. The registration period will commence on 10th March 2017 (Monday) and end on 7th July 2017 (Friday).
  • All entries successfully registered will be issued a username and password which can be used to submit their essays online.
  • All submitted essays must be accompanied by a registration fee (see section on Registration Fees below), failing to do so will result in the disqualification of the entry.
  • Teachers from schools submitting multiple entries can make payment for all the essays together.
  • Essays should be submitted via this link. The online submission portal will be opened from 26th June 2017 (Monday) until 7th July 2017 (Friday).
  • The deadline for completing payment AND online submission of the essay is 7th July 2017 (Friday).
  • Late submissions will not be accepted except under special circumstances.
  1. Prizes
  • The prize for each category of the competition is as follows:
    • First Prize: $150 Cash
    • Second Prize: $120 Cash
    • Third Prize: $90 Cash
  • Certificates of participation will be awarded to all participants.
  • All winning entries will be published in the forthcoming issues of Mathematical Medley.
  1. Registration Fees
  • There is a registration fee of $5 per entry. The fee may be paid by cash or cheque. Payment must be made before the 7th July 2017 (Friday).
  • Cash payment must be made personally to Mdm Chan Lai Chee at

Singapore Mathematical Society
c/o Department of Mathematics
National University of Singapore
Block S17
10 Lower Kent Ridge Road
Singapore 119076

  • The preferred mode of payment is by cash. Please call Mdm Chan at 6516-2762 to make an appointment prior to coming down personally.
  • For cheque payment, please address the payee as "Singapore Mathematical Society". All cheques must reach Singapore Mathematical Society and be cleared before the 7th July 2017 (Friday). Cheque payments are to be sent to the same address above.
  • An electronic receipt will be issued once payment is received in good order.


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