Announcing ⛵IS, the successor to OTIS

It’s with a sense of both sadness and excitement that I am writing to announce that year IX of my math olympiad training program, OTIS, is cancelled. Instead, it will be replaced by a new program that I am starting, named Boat Operations: A Tutorial In Sailing, or ⛵IS for short. This was a hard decision for me to make, but it’s been with me forever. I’ve been staring at the edge of the water long as I can remember, never really knowing why, and now it’s time to answer that calling.

Why sailing instead of math?

  1. Sailing is a more active and physical experience: Sailing involves being out on the water, feeling the wind and the waves, and physically maneuvering the boat. This can be a more engaging and immersive experience compared to sitting at a desk and working on math problems.
  2. Sailing provides a sense of adventure and exploration: it allows people to explore the open water, navigate their way to different destinations, and experience the beauty of nature.
  3. Sailing requires physical effort and can be a great way to stay active and fit. It can also be a fun and engaging way to spend time with friends and family, especially if you’re working together to navigate the boat and adjust the sails.
  4. Sailing offers a sense of freedom and independence: seafarers chart their own course and make their own decisions, which can be empowering and liberating. It can also be a great way to escape the stresses of daily life and experience a sense of freedom and relaxation on the open water.

How will the program work? What will we learn?

Participants will embark on a 30-day trip which begins on June 3, 2023, departing from the city of Seattle, Washington, and arriving in Yokohama, Japan, around July 2, 2023, weather-permitting. During this time, participants work as a crew on the ship, which will teach both practical and personal skills associated with seafaring.

Examples of skills emphasized by ⛵IS include:

  1. Navigation: Sailing a boat requires a solid understanding of navigation, including chart reading, compass use, and GPS navigation.
  2. Seamanship: Seamanship refers to the practical skills and knowledge necessary to operate a boat, including knot-tying, sail handling, anchoring, and boat maintenance.
  3. Weather forecasting: Understanding how to interpret weather patterns and forecasts is essential for a safe and successful sea voyage.
  4. Planning and decision-making: Planning and decision-making skills are essential for developing an itinerary, deciding on courses of action, and managing resources.
  5. Resilience and adaptability: A sea voyage can be unpredictable, and unexpected challenges and obstacles are likely to arise. Developing resilience and adaptability skills can help sailors manage stress and navigate difficult situations.
  6. Environmental awareness: Sailing provides a unique opportunity to experience the ocean environment firsthand, and can promote awareness and conservation efforts.

Note that, unfortunately, participants will not be able to attend MOP 2023; however, they may still arrive in time for the 2023 International Math Olympiad.

Will BOATIS help my college applications?

Yes, of course!

Colleges are looking for well-rounded, diverse individuals that stand out, and sailing is sure to add another colorful dimension to your application. It’s a unique and specialized extracurricular that your peers won’t have! Sailing will set you apart from other suckers in the rat race by demonstrating perseverance, resilience, a strong work ethic, and a love of nature in an innovative and totally unorthodox way.

With BOATIS on your resume, no college admissions officer will be able to mistake you as “yet another textureless math grind”. It’s practically a ticket to your dream school. Apply today!


To apply for ⛵IS IX, prospective applicants need to either

Application instructions can be found on the public ⛵IS webpage.

4 thoughts on “Announcing ⛵IS, the successor to OTIS”

  1. Awesome! I love standing desks, maths, This Is Water, This Is Air, wavey waves .WAVs and chilling in Kyoto with a trill 3 hunnid mill’ off of textureless Pure Grinding.


  2. Rest in peace, OTIS. I wanted to apply this year, and heart was broken when I heard the news. I was crying for like an hour, but after that, I came to my senses. I realized that Evan Chen is making boatis for the greater good. This time, he is really chasing what he truly desires, instead of focusing on math competitions. I am really looking forward to learning how to sail, from Evan Chen himself.
    Once again, goodbye, OTIS, and I am very excited for what is to come.


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