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 or near the greater Providence, RI area who will be entering the 10th or 11th grade in the fall of 2017.

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

Image for "GirlsGetMath@ICERM: Summer Math Camp for High School Girls"
2017 GirlsGetMath@ICERM students and instructors.
The GirlsGetMath@ICERM program is made possible solely through grants and donations. The 2017 program was made possible through gifts from the American Mathematical Society, Brown University, Math for America, Mathematical Association of America, Microsoft Research, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Phoebe Snow Foundation, 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 alumni will be chosen to assist during the program as well.**
Location
Pandemic permitting, the program will take place at the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) on the Brown University campus.
Participant Requirements
  • Students must not have attended a previous GirlsGetMath@ICERM program (unless they are applying to be an alumni intern -- see below**)
  • Students must be in the 10th or 11th grade in the fall of 2017 (NOTE: applicants from the canceled 2020 program will automatically be included in the pool of applicants for the 2021 program; there is no need to reapply.)
  • Students must live in or near the greater Providence, RI area
  • Students must ask one math teacher to submit a letter of reference
Tuition
Tuition is $100. Full financial aid is available. Daily lunch included.
To Apply as a Participant
Applications are accepted through MathPrograms.org. You will need to create an on-line MathPrograms cover sheet, answer a series of brief questions, and hit the "Apply" button. You can edit your application up until the deadline. On the cover sheet, where it says "Reference #1", please enter your reference writer's name, email, and affiliation (school). IMPORTANT: Next to your reference's name, click on the box that says "email notify writer on submit"; this will generate an automated email asking your reference writer to submit a letter on your behalf through MathPrograms. Your reference writer should be a current or recent math teacher.
**To Apply as an Alumni Intern Volunteer
ICERM will only accept alumni internship applications from the 2019 GGM alumni group. Alumni 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 alumni interns. Intern applications are accepted through MathPrograms.org.
Application Deadline
Applications for the 2017 program are now closed. Applications open in late winter, and the application deadline is mid-to-late May.

GirlsGetMath Schedule

Monday, July 24, 2017
TimeEventLocationMaterials
8:30 - 9:00am EDTCheck-in11th Floor Collaborative Space 
9:00 - 10:10am EDT“Escape Room” Introductions and Welcoming Remarks11th Floor Conference Room 
10:10 - 11:00am EDTFractals and Self-Similarities 11th Floor Conference Room  
11:00 - 11:10am EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00pm EDTOrigami Fractals11th Floor Conference Room 
12:00 - 1:00pm EDTLunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50pm EDTIntro to MATLAB11th Floor Conference Room 
1:50 - 2:00pm EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 3:30pm EDTGirlsGetMATLAB, an introduction to MATLAB11th Floor Conference Room 
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00am EDTCoffee & Bagels (a topological breakfast)11th Floor Conference Room 
10:00 - 10:10am EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00am EDT What is Data Science?11th Floor Conference Room 
11:00 - 11:10am EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00pm EDTIntroduction to Matrices and Vectors11th Floor Conference Room 
12:00 - 1:00pm EDTLunch 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50pm EDTLinear Regression11th Floor Conference Room 
1:50 - 2:00pm EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45pm EDTMATLAB – Vector and matrix operations in MATLAB11th Floor Conference Room 
2:45 - 3:30pm EDTMATLAB – Linear regression11th Floor Conference Room 
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00am EDTVax!11th Floor Conference Room 
10:00 - 10:10am EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00am EDTIntroduction to Graph Theory11th Floor Conference Room 
11:00 - 11:10am EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00pm EDTMATLAB – Epidemics 11th Floor Conference Room 
12:00 - 1:00pm EDTLunch 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 3:30pm EDT3D Printing with Professor Pedro Felzenszwalb11th Floor Conference Room 
Thursday, July 27, 2017
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00am EDTMath Jeopardy!11th Floor Conference Room 
10:00 - 10:10am EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00am EDTTransforming Images with Matrix Arithmetic 11th Floor Conference Room 
11:00 - 11:10am EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00pm EDTImage Filters and Effects11th Floor Conference Room 
12:00 - 2:00pm EDTTour of Brown University and lunch at the “Ratty”Gather at ICERM's 11th Floor Reception Desk 
2:00 - 2:45pm EDTMATLAB – Image transformations11th Floor Conference Room 
2:45 - 3:30pm EDTMATLAB – “Obama me!” and other image effects and filters11th Floor Conference Room 
Friday, July 28, 2017
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00am EDTPuzzle hunt11th Floor Conference Room 
10:00 - 10:10am EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00am EDTIntroduction to Modular Arithmetic11th Floor Conference Room 
11:00 - 11:10am EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00pm EDTFrequency Analysis11th Floor Conference Room 
12:00 - 1:00pm EDTLunch 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50pm EDTShamir’s Secret Sharing11th Floor Conference Room 
1:50 - 2:00pm EDTBreak11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45pm EDTMATLAB – Caesar and multiplication ciphers 11th Floor Conference Room 
2:45 - 3:30pm EDTNASA coding session with Kim Arcand11th Floor Conference Room 
3:30 - 4:00pm EDTClosing Ceremony11th Floor Conference Room  

2017 Participating Institutions

  • Barrington High School
  • Blackstone Valley Prep High School
  • Classical High School
  • Dighton Rehoboth High School
  • East Greenwich High school
  • La Salle Academy
  • Lincoln School
  • Middletown High School
  • Newtown High School
  • North Attleboro High School
  • North Kingstown High School
  • Paul Cuffee High School
  • Ponaganset High School
  • Portsmouth High School
  • Toll Gate High School
  • William E. Tolman 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).

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