Mathematical Capabilities of ChatGPT

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Datasets and Benchmarks Track

Bibtex Paper


Simon Frieder, Luca Pinchetti, Chevalier, Ryan-Rhys Griffiths, Tommaso Salvatori, Thomas Lukasiewicz, Philipp Petersen, Julius Berner


We investigate the mathematical capabilities of two iterations of ChatGPT (released 9-January-2023 and 30-January-2023) and of GPT-4 by testing them on publicly available datasets, as well as hand-crafted ones, using a novel methodology. In contrast to formal mathematics, where large databases of formal proofs are available (e.g., mathlib, the Lean Mathematical Library), current datasets of natural-language mathematics used to benchmark language models either cover only elementary mathematics or are very small. We address this by publicly releasing two new datasets: GHOSTS and miniGHOSTS. These are the first natural-language datasets curated by working researchers in mathematics that (1) aim to cover graduate-level mathematics, (2) provide a holistic overview of the mathematical capabilities of language models, and (3) distinguish multiple dimensions of mathematical reasoning. These datasets test on 1636 human expert evaluations whether ChatGPT and GPT-4 can be helpful assistants to professional mathematicians by emulating use cases that arise in the daily professional activities of mathematicians. We benchmark the models on a range of fine-grained performance metrics. For advanced mathematics, this is the most detailed evaluation effort to date. We find that ChatGPT and GPT-4 can be used most successfully as mathematical assistants for querying facts, acting as mathematical search engines and knowledge base interfaces. GPT-4 can additionally be used for undergraduate-level mathematics but fails on graduate-level difficulty. Contrary to many positive reports in the media about GPT-4 and ChatGPT's exam-solving abilities (a potential case of selection bias), their overall mathematical performance is well below the level of a graduate student. Hence, if you aim to use ChatGPT to pass a graduate-level math exam, you would be better off copying from your average peer!