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 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 be entering the 10th or 11th grade in the fall of 2016.

GirlsGetMath@ICERM encourages 20-25 young women to explore, and invites them to excel in, the mathematical sciences. Accomplished professional women, enthusiastic about serving as career models as well as scientific mentors, 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, postdocs, and professionals from the STEM workforce
  • to have a positive influence on the way students view their mathematical interest and ability.

2016 GirlsGetMath@ICERM students and instructors.
The GirlsGetMath@ICERM program is made possible solely through grants and donations. The 2016 program was made possible through an AMS Epsilon Grant, a grant from the Phoebe Snow Foundation, and gifts from Microsoft Research, Brown University, and Stephen F. Siegel and Jayne Kurkjian-Siegel

Program Details

Instructors
The faculty organizers will be joined by undergraduate, graduate students and postdocs who will serve as teaching fellows in the program. Two GirlsGetMath alumnae will be chosen to assist during the program as well**.
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 2016 program are now closed. Applications open in late winter, and the application deadline is mid-to-late May.

GirlsGetMath Schedule

Monday, August 15, 2016
TimeEventLocationMaterials
8:30 - 8:55Check-in11th Floor Collaborative Space 
8:55 - 9:00Welcoming Remarks11th Floor Lecture Hall 
9:00 - 10:10Introductions and cipher scavenger hunt11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:10 - 11:10Fractals and self-similarity11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00The crumpled ball experiment11th Floor Lecture Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch (and the game SET)11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Introduction to vectors and matrices11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 3:30GirlsGetMATLAB, an introduction to MATLAB11th Floor Lecture Hall 
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00Fractal cuts11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00Introduction to modular arithmetic11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Cryptography I: Keeping secrets like a spy11th Floor Lecture Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Cryptography II: Public key cryptography11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45MATLAB – Caesar and multiplication ciphers11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:45 - 3:30MATLAB – Exponentiation ciphers and public key exchanges11th Floor Lecture Hall 
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00Thomas Jefferson's wheel cipher11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00Introduction to graph theory11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 1:00Tour of Brown University and lunch at the “Ratty”Gather at ICERM's 11th Floor Reception Desk 
1:00 - 1:50Graph applications11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45MATLAB - Graphs11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:45 - 3:30MATLAB - Exploration of epidemic spread on networks11th Floor Lecture Hall 
Thursday, August 18, 2016
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00The utility problem11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:10Transforming images with matrix arithmetic11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Image filters and effects11th Floor Lecture Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Box filters11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45MATLAB – Image transformations11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:45 - 3:30MATLAB – 'Obama me!' and other image effects and filter11th Floor Lecture Hall 
Friday, August 19, 2016
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00Survey collection11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00Recommendation systems11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00MATLAB – Recommendation systems11th Floor Lecture Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 2:00Wrap-up survey activity and poster creation11th Floor Lecture Hall and Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:15Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:15 - 3:15NASA coding session11th Floor Lecture Hall 
3:15 - 3:30Break/Welcome Family & Teachers11th Floor Collaborative Space 
3:30 - 4:30Closing Ceremony11th Floor Lecture Hall 

2016 Participating Institutions

  • Barrington High School
  • Blackstone Valley Prep
  • Classical High School
  • Coventry High School
  • Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School
  • East Greenwich High School
  • Jacqueline M. Walsh School for Perf Arts
  • La Salle Academy
  • Lincoln School
  • Moses Brown
  • North Providence High School
  • Portsmouth High School
  • Scituate High School
  • Toll Gate High School
  • West Warwick High School
  • William M. Davies Jr. Career & Technical High School
  • Woonsocket 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