##### Organizing Committee

- Katharine Ott
*Bates University* - Ulrica Wilson
*Morehouse College*

##### 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.

*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

Starting August 1, 2020, watch this space for links to a small selection of modules related to the GirlsGetMath curriculum, consisting of videos and downloadable activities. These will be available for the entire month of August, and will offer a glimpse into several of the fun topics generally presented during the program.

#### GirlsGetMath Schedule

##### Monday, August 15, 2016

Time | Event | Location | Materials |
---|---|---|---|

8:30 - 8:55am EDT | Check-in | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

8:55 - 9:00am EDT | Welcoming Remarks | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

9:00 - 10:10am EDT | Introductions and cipher scavenger hunt | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

10:10 - 11:10am EDT | Fractals and self-similarity | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

11:00 - 11:10am EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

11:10 - 12:00pm EDT | The crumpled ball experiment | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

12:00 - 1:00pm EDT | Lunch (and the game SET) | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

1:00 - 1:50pm EDT | Introduction to vectors and matrices | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

1:50 - 2:00pm EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

2:00 - 3:30pm EDT | GirlsGetMATLAB, an introduction to MATLAB | 11th Floor Lecture Hall |

##### Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Time | Event | Location | Materials |
---|---|---|---|

9:00 - 10:00am EDT | Fractal cuts | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

10:00 - 10:10am EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

10:10 - 11:00am EDT | Introduction to modular arithmetic | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

11:00 - 11:10am EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

11:10 - 12:00pm EDT | Cryptography I: Keeping secrets like a spy | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

12:00 - 1:00pm EDT | Lunch | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

1:00 - 1:50pm EDT | Cryptography II: Public key cryptography | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

1:50 - 2:00pm EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

2:00 - 2:45pm EDT | MATLAB – Caesar and multiplication ciphers | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

2:45 - 3:30pm EDT | MATLAB – Exponentiation ciphers and public key exchanges | 11th Floor Lecture Hall |

##### Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Time | Event | Location | Materials |
---|---|---|---|

9:00 - 10:00am EDT | Thomas Jefferson's wheel cipher | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

10:00 - 10:10am EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

10:10 - 11:00am EDT | Introduction to graph theory | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

11:00 - 1:00pm EDT | Tour of Brown University and lunch at the “Ratty” | Gather at ICERM's 11th Floor Reception Desk | |

1:00 - 1:50pm EDT | Graph applications | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

1:50 - 2:00pm EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

2:00 - 2:45pm EDT | MATLAB - Graphs | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

2:45 - 3:30pm EDT | MATLAB - Exploration of epidemic spread on networks | 11th Floor Lecture Hall |

##### Thursday, August 18, 2016

Time | Event | Location | Materials |
---|---|---|---|

9:00 - 10:00am EDT | The utility problem | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

10:00 - 10:10am EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

10:10 - 11:10am EDT | Transforming images with matrix arithmetic | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

11:00 - 11:10am EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

11:10 - 12:00pm EDT | Image filters and effects | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

12:00 - 1:00pm EDT | Lunch | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

1:00 - 1:50pm EDT | Box filters | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

1:50 - 2:00pm EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

2:00 - 2:45pm EDT | MATLAB – Image transformations | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

2:45 - 3:30pm EDT | MATLAB – 'Obama me!' and other image effects and filter | 11th Floor Lecture Hall |

##### Friday, August 19, 2016

Time | Event | Location | Materials |
---|---|---|---|

9:00 - 10:00am EDT | Survey collection | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

10:00 - 10:10am EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

10:10 - 11:00am EDT | Recommendation systems | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

11:00 - 11:10am EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

11:10 - 12:00pm EDT | MATLAB – Recommendation systems | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

12:00 - 1:00pm EDT | Lunch | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

1:00 - 2:00pm EDT | Wrap-up survey activity and poster creation | 11th Floor Lecture Hall and Collaborative Space | |

2:00 - 2:15pm EDT | Break | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

2:15 - 3:15pm EDT | NASA coding session | 11th Floor Lecture Hall | |

3:15 - 3:30pm EDT | Break/Welcome Family & Teachers | 11th Floor Collaborative Space | |

3:30 - 4:30pm EDT | Closing Ceremony | 11th 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

#### Purpose of 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 education, ultimately shaping the way the students 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 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).