4th Annual Global Math Art Contest

 

Update February 1, 2024:

The gallery is live! Thank you to everyone who participated. We were blown away by the artistry, care, and ingenuity on display this year. Choosing just 100 graphs was nearly impossible, but we expect you’ll be as inspired by them as we are. As you explore the gallery, be on the lookout for the small details and bits of magic you’ll find scattered throughout artist statements and notes. You can find the graphs at www.desmos.com/art.

Our Global Math Art Contest is one of the highlights of our year. It reinforces the connection between math and art and creativity. It pushes our technical limits. And it inspires wild new features and products (see the 3D Calculator) in our quest to make tools worthy of the incredible people who use us around the world.

3 separate images of an astronaut on the lunar surface, a stylized sunset over the water, and a woman writing Euler's identity on a blacboard.

 

This year’s contest begins now! You’re welcome to get started, even though submissions won’t open for another two weeks. You’ll be able to submit anytime between December 1st and January 15th.

As you’re thinking about what you’ll create, we wanted to share a few themes to consider this year.

1. We have new tools!

Over the last year, we launched our new Desmos Geometry and 3D tools, and this year you can submit up to one graph from each of the tools (Graphing, Geometry, and 3D).

2. We want to welcome first time participants

We know that the gallery can be intimidating for folks who have never participated, so this year we’re expanding our galleries. We’ll be picking 25 graphs to feature in each age group, at least 5 of which will come from first-time participants.

3. We’re focusing on fast

This year we’re going to pay extra attention to the speed of your graph, especially in the 3D calculator (since it’s brand new, and not yet as fast as it will eventually be!). Remember that every year our tools get faster, computers get faster, and your techniques get more powerful. So if you have an idea that’s too slow this year, hopefully it won’t be for long.

4. We love approachable graphs

This year we’re seeking graphs that are as “approachable” as you can make them. The dream is that someone could open your graph and learn some math, or a new Desmos technique, from it. Think about using folders to organize, lists and functions to simplify, comments to explain.

5. We’re adding new audio capabilities

So often, our new capabilities are inspired by the incredible creativity of our community. The way folks have used “Audio trace” to make music is a great example. So this year, just in time for the art contest, we’re pleased to introduce a new (beta!) feature, Tone, which you can use to make music, sound effects, and generally highlight the connections between math, visual art and sound. We’ll be highlighting at least a few graphs that make use of this feature. Learn more about Tone.

As always, we just can’t wait to see what folks create. Please reach out to us with any questions or suggestions at contest@desmos.com! More details below.

 

Who Can Enter? | What Are We Looking For? | What Prizes Will be Awarded? | How to Submit Your Entry | The Fine Print | Resources

 

Who Can Enter?

Any individual from any country, aged 13+ may submit a Desmos graph to the competition via the Desmos Graphing, Geometry, and/or 3D tools. We’ll select graphs to feature from each of the four age groups listed below based on participant age as of January 1, 2024:

  • 13–14 years old
  • 15–16 years old
  • 17–18 years old
  • 19+ years old

This year we’re going to add a way for a parent or guardian over the age of 18 to submit a graph on behalf of their student. This means that anyone over 13 can participate from anywhere in the world, even in countries where people under 16 aren’t allowed to submit the graph themselves.

What Are We Looking For?

Your original art, created in the Desmos Graphing, Geometry, and/or 3D tools. Participants may submit one entry on each of these tools, for a max of three entries in this year’s contest. Desmos Studio will be picking submissions to feature from across all three tools.

Submissions that contain 1) copyrighted images or audio (Pokémon™, Among Us™, recently released songs, etc.), or 2) graphs or equations you did not create yourself will not be considered. While you cannot submit graphs of copyrighted images or audio, you may submit graphs of works that are in the public domain.

We’ll feature submissions that have some combination of the following:

  • Creativity and originality, including:
    • A personal story or connection to the work
    • Beautiful visual design (static or animated!)
    • Varied mathematics
  • Delight. Delight comes in many forms, but some of our favorites include:
    • Movement/animation
    • Custom colors
    • Subtle details and precision
    • Sound effects using tone (beta!)
  • Performance
    • Simplicity, including using fewer expressions to achieve the same goal
    • Fast rendering, including on low-powered devices
  • Approachability
    • Using familiar math where possible
    • Graph organization & documentation
    • Using simple techniques to create powerful things

What Prizes Will be Awarded?

Our panel of judges will select 25 featured graphs in each of the four age categories with at least 5 selections being from first time participants*. Each of the 100 featured artists (25 in each age category) will receive:

  • $250 USD cash prize
  • $100 gift code to the Desmos store
  • Artwork publicly displayed by Desmos Studio on our company website and social media channels.

*First time participation will be self-reported. Please be honest. We will disqualify folks from this and future competitions if we find out they were dishonest about previous participation using a different account.

How to Submit Your Entry

Individuals submitting their own works will be able to submit their entries through the trophy icon available on the Desmos Graphing, Geometry, and/or 3D tools. Submission portals will go live the first week of December 2023! If you’re over 13 but live in a place where you aren’t allowed to submit a graph yourself, you may invite a parent or guardian to submit on your behalf at www.desmos.com/art. All submissions must be made on or before January 15th, 2024 at 8:59 p.m. Pacific Time / 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

We’ll update this article and announce on our website and on our social media channels when submission portals are open!

The Fine Print

  • All contestants must be ages 13+ as of January 1st, 2024 to participate.
  • Complete the starter questions when submissions open in the Desmos Graphing, Geometry, and/or 3D tools to determine your eligibility to participate. Consider inviting a parent or guardian over the age of 18 to submit on your behalf if you’re over 13 but not eligible to participate based on geography via www.desmos.com/art.
  • We will only consider a contestant’s last submission, so you’re welcome to resubmit your graph(s) any number of times before the deadline, this includes via an adult submitting on your behalf at www.desmos.com/art.
  • All graphs must be the original work of the contestant and created using the Desmos Graphing, Geometry, and/or 3D tools. We cannot accept submissions that include copyrighted images and audio. Specifically, submitted graphs may not include the use of content that is not the intellectual property of the person who made the graph. This includes graphs of your favorite characters, logos, images, etc. that are not currently in the public domain.
  • Before distributing prizes, winners must complete our winner’s form. We reserve the right to verify a contestant’s eligibility and application information. It is the contestant’s responsibility to ensure that they are abiding by local data privacy laws.

Resources

Brand new to graphing with Desmos? Not so new, but want to learn more? Check out any of these links to get started.

Questions? Contact us at contest@desmos.com.

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