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The logo of Brilliant
Type of site
Online education
Available inEnglish
Users4 million[1]
LaunchedOctober 2012
Current statusActive, also known as Brilliant, is a website and associated community that features problems and courses in mathematics, physics, quantitative finance, and computer science. Brilliant is intended to discover and cultivate the mathematical and scientific thinking skills of students, professionals, and hobbyists around the world.[2] It operates via a freemium business model.


Brilliant was founded in 2012.[2] At the Launch Festival in March 2013, CEO and co-founder Sue Khim presented the idea of Brilliant, catching the eye of venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya.[2][3] In May 2013, Khim further outlined the vision for Brilliant at TEDx.[4]

In August 2013, TechCrunch reported that had raised money from Palihapitiya's Social+Capital Partnership as well as from 500 Startups, Kapor Capital, Learn Capital, and Hyde Park Angels, and that the website had over 100,000 users.[3] As of July 2017, the website has over 4 million registered users and 1.75 million Facebook likes.[1][5]


Brilliant has been noted in a number of publications for its success in identifying promising young mathematicians and scientists around the world, many of whom would not have been identified or given a chance to develop to their full potential otherwise.[6] Commonly cited examples include Farrell Wu from the Philippines,[3][6] Dylan Toh of Singapore,[6][7] and Phoebe Cai of the United States.[6][7]

Brilliant regularly contributes math and science puzzles to publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and FiveThirtyEight.[8][9][10][1][11] Brilliant has also been cited by The Atlantic as a catalyst of the "math revolution" - a surge in the number of American teens excelling at math.[12]

In 2013, Brilliant founder and CEO Sue Khim was listed among the Forbes 30 under 30 for the Education category for her work on Brilliant.[13]


Brilliant offers guided problem-solving based courses in math, science, and engineering, based on National Science Foundation research supporting active learning.[14]

Additionally, Brilliant publishes challenging problems in math and science each week from problems written by members of their community.[3] Brilliant also maintains an interactive, community-written math and science wiki of approximately 2,000 pages.

Brilliant’s long-term vision is “to create a more efficient way for ambitious people who are building their skills to be found directly by organizations seeking talent.” In 2016, The Atlantic reported that “some of the most recognizable companies in the tech industry regularly prospect” on Brilliant.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Bellos, Alex. "Can you solve it? Pi Day puzzles that will leave you pie-eyed". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Kurwa, Nishat (July 23, 2013). "Giving Brightest Kids The 'Cram School' Experience, Online". NPR. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Rao, Leena (August 11, 2013). "Backed By Social+Capital, Is Finding And Challenging The Brightest, Technical Talent In The World". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  4. ^ "Scouting for Intellect: Sue Khim at TEDxUChicago 2013". YouTube. TedX. June 4, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  5. ^ "". Facebook. July 27, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Carlson, Nicholas (April 30, 2013). "The 10 Smartest Kids In The World (And The Crazy Math Problems They Can Solve)". Business Insider. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Antoniades, Andri (May 7, 2013). "How to Graduate From a Failing School System and Still Be Brilliant. A 26-year-old entrepreneur ensures gifted students worldwide receive the kind of education they need". TakePart. Archived from the original on 2015-04-05. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  8. ^ Antonick, Gary (December 21, 2015). "Reason to Celebrate with Puzzles from and Iwahiro". The New York Times. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  9. ^ Antonick, Gary (March 14, 2016). "Reasonable-Seeming but WRONG Approximations of π". The New York Times. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  10. ^ Puglise, Nicole. "From The Dress to the 'extinction effect': the internet obsession with brain teasers". The Guardian. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  11. ^ Roeder, Oliver (October 28, 2016). "Rig The Election ... With Math!". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Tyre, Peg (March 2016). "The Math Revolution". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  13. ^ "30 Under 30: Education". Forbes. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  14. ^ "Enough with the lecturing". National Science Foundation. May 12, 2014. Retrieved August 7, 2017.

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