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 who live in greater Rhode Island and who will be entering the 10th or 11th grade in the fall of 2018.

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

Students and instructors from the 2017 GirlsGetMath@ICERM program.
GirlsGetMath@ICERM is made possible solely through grants and donations. The 2018 program is made possible through grants and gifts from the American Mathematical Society, Microsoft Research, the Phoebe Snow Foundation, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and Stephen F. Siegel & 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 2018 program are now closed. Applications open in late winter, and the application deadline is mid-to-late May.

GirlsGetMath Schedule

Monday, August 6, 2018
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:10Introductions and Lockbox Puzzle11th Floor  
10:10 - 11:00SET Game11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Monty Hall and Probability11th Floor Conference Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Introduction to Vectors and Matrices11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45Introduction to Matlab11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:45 - 3:30Introduction to Vectors and Matrices Lab11th Floor Lecture Hall 
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00Math Card Tricks11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:10Group Photo / Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00Introduction to Graph Theory11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Graph Theory and Epidemic spreads11th Floor Conference Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Mathematical Biology & Graph Theory11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45Epidemiology Lab11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:45 - 3:30Mathematical Biology Lab 11th Floor Lecture Hall 
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00Fractal Cuts11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00 Caesar Ciphers and Modular Arithmetic11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Frequency Analysis and the Vigenère Cipher11th Floor Conference Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:503D Printing Demo with Professor Pedro Felzenszwalb11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 3:303D Printing Design Lab & optional Cryptography Lab11th Floor Lecture Hall 
Thursday, August 9, 2018
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00Surveys11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 11:00Classification with Support Vector Machines 11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 1:00Tour of Brown University and lunch on campus  
1:00 - 1:50Recommendation Systems11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45Classification Lab11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:45 - 3:30Recommendation Systems Lab11th Floor Lecture Hall 
Friday, August 10, 2018
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00Mathematical Murder Mystery!11th Floor Lecture Hall 
10:00 - 10:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00Transforming Images with Matrix Arithmetic11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Image Filters and Effects11th Floor Conference Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Basic Image Commands & Image Filters Lab11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 3:30Fluid Dynamics Demo with Professor Daniel Harris & Poster Creation11th Floor Lecture Hall 
3:30 - 4:30Closing Ceremony11th Floor Lecture Hall 

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