Research Report Guidelines


The research report shall be written in English and the report will be reviewed and evaluated by the Scientific Committee comprising of world-renowned mathematicians. You are advised to submit a typed research report.

Electronic copy

As the adjudication process involves international assessors, you must submit an electronic version of your research report. We prefer file formats that are machine and operating system independent, such as Adobe PDF or PostScript. Microsoft Word files are acceptable, but transmission problems may occur when they are read overseas.

Report Structure

The research report shall precisely and clearly summarize the team’s work. An overall format of the research report is described below. Some format requirements are mandatory and must be followed, while others are optional. The research report must consist of a Title page, an Abstract and a Main Body. Participants may also include other sections suggested below to facilitate the review process. If others’ works are adopted or referenced in preparing the research report, they should be properly acknowledged in the References section.

1. Title page (Mandatory)

The research report must have a title page that clearly indicates the following:

  1. Title of the project
  2. Team details such as team registration number, school name, teacher’s name, and team member(s)’ name(s)
  3. A statement “A research report submitted to the Scientific Committee of the Hang Lung Mathematics Award”
  4. Date of the research report

2. Abstract (Mandatory)

The research report must also include an abstract of no more than 200 words. The abstract shall briefly describe the aim and results of the research. Try not to use mathematical symbols in the abstract.

3. Introduction (Optional)

Usually, the research report starts with an introduction. It is to give the reader or assessor an overall impression of your research report. It may contain the following:

  1. a brief and clear description of the research project that you have worked on
  2. your aims and objectives, and whether they are achieved
  3. a summary and the general organization of your research report

The introduction should be regarded as an integral part of the research report so that readers can basically understand the general framework of your project. You may also acknowledge people who have been helpful to your project. The introduction should not be too long (about 2 to 4 pages).

4. Main Body (Mandatory)

The main body of the research report may be written in the style of a mathematical or scientific article. Or, you may choose another style that is most suitable to presenting your work. A good system of section and subsection numbers, as well as equation numbers, usually provides good cross-references and makes it convenient for readers.

A list of the most common contents is given for your consideration. You need not include every suggested item, nor are you restricted to only these listed items.

  1. The background of your project
    1. You may describe the general mathematics background as well as background in related subjects. Try to focus on materials that are essential to the understanding of your research report and refrain from simply copying and pasting the contents from reference materials.
    2. Briefly describe the known methods and results related to your project.
    3. You should also give specific facts and assumptions that you have used in the project. Explain these facts and assumptions and their formulation in mathematics.
    4. If you have your own definitions, variables, and symbols, try to state them clearly and use them consistently.
  2. Some issues that you may address
    1. In what sense is your project original? Are you studying a problem which is new to you and your team members? Are you studying a problem which is well-known but you have found a new approach to solving it?
    2. Are there known results or models to problems similar to yours?
    3. Are you studying a mathematical formulation of a physical problem, statistical problem, a problem arising in economics, etc.?
  3. Your methodology
    1. Did you basically work on logical deduction? What is your line of thought?
    2. Did you use simulation and computer programming? What language and software did you use and why did you make that choice?
  4. The results that you have obtained, including theorem statements and proofs, graphs, plots, computer output, data, etc.

5. Summary and Conclusions (Optional)

In a concise fashion, write a conclusion directly after the main body or summarize the research report. You may also comment on any unexpected phenomenon or surprising facts. Try to avoid technical expressions in this section.

6. Appendices (Optional)

Sometimes, for a smoother presentation in the Main Body, you may have other useful materials that are not presented in the main body. If they are useful to the understanding of your project, you may append them here. Typical examples are pictures, computing source codes, tedious and long calculations, etc. If you like, you may also write a brief account of your project progress, the changes in your research plan or ideas.

7. References (Mandatory)

An important principle in academic work is honesty and respect for others’ intellectual property rights. If you have used or referenced others’ works in your research report, you should properly acknowledge their works in the references. The reference items are usually sorted according to the surnames of the author. Each item is given a reference code for convenience of quoting in the research report. The general format of a reference item is: [Reference code] Surname, Name (and coauthors). “Article Title”. Journal or book title. Journal or book information, pages.

For example,
[AL] Au, Thomas and Lin, Xiao-Song. “Off-center reflection: Caustics and chaos”. Experimental Mathematics 10 (2001), 287-301.
[BP] Benedetti, R. and Petronio, C. Lectures on Hyperbolic Geometry. Springer-Verlag, 1992.

Note: Past winning papers of Hang Lung Mathematics Award can be accessed at Resource Library.