Organizing Committee
Abstract

GirlsGetMath is a weeklong mathematics summer day-program for 9th and 10th grade high school girls in the Providence, RI area.

GirlsGetMath occurs in an encouraging environment that builds young women's confidence in math and science.

GirlsGetMath expands participants' understanding and knowledge of mathematics through computations and experimentations.

GirlsGetMath provides expert mathematical training and mentoring.

GirlsGetMath@ICERM 2014 is the first of what will become a replicable national model of mathematical outreach for high school girls, with an emphasis on mathematical experimentation.

This five-day non-residential mathematics program is open to high school girls from the greater Providence, RI area who will have just completed either grade 9 or grade 10 by July 2014.

GirlsGetMath@ICERM will encourage 25 young women to explore, and invite them to excel in, the mathematical sciences. Accomplished professional women, enthusiastic about serving as career models as well as scientific mentors, will lead the program. Potential topics include: cryptography, the mathematics of voting, image processing, prime numbers and factoring, and fractals.

The goals of the program are:

  • to show high school women that the study of mathematics can be exciting, beautiful, and useful
  • to build confidence in students' mathematical knowledge through engaging and expert mathematical instruction
  • to introduce high school students to a variety of career opportunities in which sophisticated mathematical ability plays a key role
  • to emphasize the strategic role mathematics plays for success in STEM careers
  • to provide the participants with a support group and expert mentors who are successful undergraduate, graduate students and professionals from the STEM workforce
  • to have a positive influence on the way students view their mathematical interest and ability

2014 GirlsGetMath@ICERM students and instructors.
The GirlsGetMath@ICERM program is made possible solely through grants and donations. The 2014 program was co-sponsored by a grant from the Phoebe Snow Foundation and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA)

Program Details

Instructors
The faculty organizers will be joined by undergraduate, graduate students and postdocs who will serve as teaching fellows in the program.
Location
The program will take place at ICERM on the Brown University campus in historic Providence, RI.
Participant Requirements
  • Students must be first-time applicants to the GirlsGetMath@ICERM program
  • Students must be in the 9th or 10th grade at the time of application submission
  • Students must live in or near the greater Providence, RI area
  • Students must ask one math teacher to submit a letter of recommendation
  • Students must submit a one-page personal statement of interest
Tuition
Tuition is $100. Full financial aid is available. Daily lunch included.
To Apply as a Participant
Applicants will need to include their letter-writer's name and email with their application. Applicants must also upload a one-page personal statement about why they want to attend the GirlsGetMath@ICERM program. Applications are accepted through MathPrograms.org.
**To Apply as an Alumna Intern
ICERM only accepts volunteer intern applications from the previous year's GGM alumnae group. Alumnae only need to submit a one-page personal statement explaining why they wish to return as an intern when they apply. No teacher reference is required for alumnae interns. Intern applications are accepted through MathPrograms.org.
Deadline
Applications for the 2014 program are now closed. Applications open in late winter, and the application deadline is mid-to-late May.

GirlsGetMath Schedule

Monday, July 14, 2014
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 9:50Warm Up Session: Thomas Jefferson and Codes11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:50Nature, the Fibonacci Numbers, and the Golden Ratio  
11:00 - 11:50How Long is the Coast of Britain?: An Introduction to Fractals11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:50 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50GirlsGetMatlab - A First Look at MatLab Coding11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:00 - 2:45LAB - Let's Matlab Code  
2:45 - 3:30LAB - Lab Matlab  
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 9:50Warm Up Session: Polyhedra and Origami11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:50Life is Linear: Introduction to Matrix Arithmetic11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:50Factoring Matrices11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:50 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Building a Search Engine11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:00 - 2:45LAB - Matrix Arithmetic in Matlab  
2:45 - 3:30LAB - Search Engines  
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 9:50Warm Up Session: The Blue-Eyed Islanders11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:50Introduction to Modular Arithmetic11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:50Identification Numbers and Check Digit Schemes11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:50 - 12:00Group Photo11th Floor Lecture Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Elementary Cryptography11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:00 - 2:45LAB - Check the Digits  
2:45 - 3:30LAB - Break the Code  
Thursday, July 17, 2014
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 9:50Warm Up Session:The Fold-and-Cut Problem11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:50Image Transformations using Matrices11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:50Image Filtering 111th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:50 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Image Filtering 211th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:00 - 2:45LAB - Transforming Images  
2:45 - 3:30LAB - Filters  
Friday, July 18, 2014
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 9:50Warm Up Session - Jeopardy!11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:50Introduction to Prime Numbers and Modular Exponentiation11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:50Exponentiation Ciphers11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:50 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Primality Testing11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:00 - 2:45LAB - Break the Code, II  
2:45 - 3:30LAB - Is it (not) Prime?  
3:30 - 4:30Award Ceremony11th Floor Lecture Hall 

2014 Participating Institutions

  • Barrington Christian Academy
  • Barrington High School
  • Beacon Charter High School for the Arts
  • Cumberland High School
  • LaSalle Academy
  • Paul Cuffee Upper School
  • Portsmouth Abbey School
  • Rocky Hill School
  • South Kingstown High School
  • St. Mary Academy Bay View
  • Tiverton High School
  • The Wheeler School
  • West Warwick High School

Why an "All Girls" Program?

Despite the fact that jobs in STEM are multiplying and pay better than other careers, women remain woefully underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math jobs. Some of this imbalance may be traced back to attitudes about mathematics and sciences in middle school and high school. There is a documented decline in girls’ positive feels about mathematics beginning in middle school, and from this point forward girls are far less likely than their male peers to choose elective courses in mathematics and the sciences[1][2]. The absence of girls in mathematics and science elective courses is especially severe among low-income and disadvantaged students. Research has shown that school-aged girls may not realize that their preferred career choice requires coursework in mathematics and sciences[3], so these decisions can have long lasting consequences.

GirlsGetMath@ICERM aims to build knowledge and confidence in mathematics ability early in girls’ education, ultimately shaping the way the girls view themselves and their mathematical interests and potential. The program will:

  • Demonstrate through hands-on activities, games, and computer simulations that the study of mathematics can be exciting, beautiful and useful;
  • Introduce the high school participants to a variety of career opportunities for which sophisticated mathematical ability plays a key role, with an emphasis on the central role mathematics plays for success in STEM careers; and
  • Provide the participants with a support group of like-minded peers and mentors.
  • An outstanding feature of the GirlsGetMath@ICERM program is its commitment to quality. The program content is created by Ph.D. mathematicians who collectively have many years of experience as researchers and educators. The content is chosen to be at the appropriate level for the participants, but at the same time challenging, useful, and engaging to high school students. The Faculty Organizers of GirlsGetMath are college and university faculty in mathematics with experience leading summer mathematics programs for students. The Teaching Assistants are female undergraduate and graduate students in mathematics and computer science.

References:
[1] J. Blue and D. Gann, When do girls lose interest in math and science?, Science Scope, (2008).
[2] J. Wilkins and X. Ma, Modeling change in students attitude toward and beliefs about mathematics, Journal of Educational Research, (2007).
[3] L. Pettitt, Middle School Students’ Perception of Math and Science Abilities and Related Careers, 61st Biennial Meeting of Research in Child Development, (1995).

GirlsGetMath Past Programs

GirlsGetMath: Summer Math Camp for High School Girls