GirlsGetMath@ICERM: Summer Math Camp for High School Girls
(July 24 - 28, 2017)

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 will become a replicable national model of mathematical outreach for high school girls, with an emphasis on mathematical experimentation.



Description

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

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**.

The program will take place at ICERM on the Brown University campus in historic Providence, RI.

REQUIREMENTS

Participant Requirements:

  • Students must be female
  • Students must be first-time applicants to the GirlsGetMath@ICERM program
  • Students must be entering the 10th or 11th grade in the fall of 2017
  • Students must live in or near the greater Providence, RI area

To Apply as a Participant:

  • Applications will open in early March
  • All applicants must apply to GirlsGetMath@ICERM via MathPrograms.org
  • A letter of recommendation, preferably from a current math teacher, is required. The applicant needs to enter their letter-writer's name and email into the MathPrograms.org system and check the box that says "email notify writer on submit"; this will generate an automated email request to the letter-writer with further instructions about writing and uploading their letter
  • Applicants must also upload a one-page personal statement on MathPrograms.org explaining why they want to attend the GirlsGetMath@ICERM program

**To Apply to Become an Alumna Volunteer:
ICERM is only accepting volunteer assistant applications from 2016 GGM alumnae. Alumnae must use the MathPrograms.org application, and are required to submit a one-page personal statement explaining why they wish to return as a volunteer. No teacher reference is required for alumnae volunteers, so that section of the MathPrograms.org application can be ignored.

Deadline: May 22, 2017
Applications will be accepted, starting in early March, on a rolling basis through the end of May, or until all positions are filled, whichever comes first. Applications received by the original May 22nd deadline will receive priority review. All applicants can expect to hear about their status in early June.


The GirlsGetMath@ICERM program is made possible solely through grants and donations. The 2017 program is made possible through an American Mathematical Society Epsilon Grant, funds from Brown University, and gifts from Microsoft Research and the Phoebe Snow Foundation.

Applications open early March 2017

Organizing Committee

Tuition

Tuition is $100. Full financial aid is available. Daily lunch and snacks included.

Info & Resources

Monday August 15, 2016
Time Description Speaker Location Abstracts Slides
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
Time Description Speaker Location Abstracts Slides
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
Time Description Speaker Location Abstracts Slides
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
Time Description Speaker Location Abstracts Slides
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
Time Description Speaker Location Abstracts Slides
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

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 (see, e.g., [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 (see, e.g., [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).