## Idea > A Wimbledon-style instant knock-out tournament to find the world's most interesting mathematician.
## _In fact_ > A ruse to get 16 of my friends to tell me about cool maths stuff.
## First go, 2018 I emailed a load of mathematician friends and acquaintances. * Lots said yes. * Lots said “that makes me feel uneasy”. * Several said “I'm not a mathematician”. * Asked way more women than men, ended up with 4/16 women competitors.
## Format * Four round instant knock-out tournament * Each match, two mathematicians ‘pitch’ a bit of interesting maths * Public votes on the most interesting pitch * Winner goes through to the next round
![Grid showing competitors of 2018 competition: James Tanton, Samuel Hansen, Paul Taylor, Nira Chamberlain, Edmund Harriss, Peter Rowlett, Colin Wright, Alison Kiddle, Matt Parker, Tiago Hirth, Matthew Scroggs, Evelyn Lamb, Jo Morgan, Jim Propp, Tony Mann, Zoe Griffiths](images/competitors-2018.png)
![Wallchart showing structure of 2018 competition](images/wallchart-2018.png)
## Loads of admin! * Email people to ask if they'll take part * Email again to check they'll still take part * Email again to ask for pitches * Email **again** to ask for pitches * Email Matt Parker to _beg_ for pitches * Absolutely ages wrangling pitches into WordPress and YouTube
## Success! * Everyone behaved * Loads of readers and votes * 30 bits of fun maths * Lots of different styles of pitch
![Photo of Nira Chamberlain holding a trophy and wearing a t-shirt saying "world's most interesting mathematician"](images/nira.png)
## 2019 * Asked each 2018 competitor to nominate someone for 2019. * Ended up with much more diverse field, and new friends. * Group stage, so everyone gets three goes.
![Grid showing competitors of 2018 competition - Alex Corner, Lucy Rycroft-Smith, Grant Sanderson, Alaric Stephen, Vicky Neale, Jim Propp, Sophie Carr, Sunil Singh, Marianne Freiberger and Rachel Thomas, Vincent Pantaloni, Jorge Nuno Silva, Sameer Shah, Colin Beveridge, Kyle D Evans, Becky Warren, Anna Haensch](images/competitors-2019.png)
![Wallchart showing structure of 2018 competition](images/wallchart-2019.png)
## Even more admin * 54 bits of fun maths! * One competitor pulled out * One competitor burned the competition to the ground * Katie Steckles and Matthew Scroggs helped
![Screenshot of math-off sticker book, showing pages for Marianne Freiberger and Rachel Thomas, and Vincent Pantaloni](images/sticker-book.png)