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 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 Sample Schedule

Monday
TimeEventLocationMaterials
8:30 - 9:00Check-in11th Floor Collaborative Space 
9:00 - 10:10“Escape Room” Introductions and Welcoming Remarks11th Floor Conference Room 
10:10 - 11:00Fractals and Self-Similarities 11th Floor Conference Room  
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Origami Fractals11th Floor Conference Room 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Intro to MATLAB11th Floor Conference Room 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 3:30GirlsGetMATLAB, an introduction to MATLAB11th Floor Conference Room 
Tuesday
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00Coffee & Bagels (a topological breakfast)11th Floor Conference Room 
10:00 - 10:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00 What is Data Science?11th Floor Conference Room 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Introduction to Matrices and Vectors11th Floor Conference Room 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Linear Regression11th Floor Conference Room 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45MATLAB – Vector and matrix operations in MATLAB11th Floor Conference Room 
2:45 - 3:30MATLAB – Linear regression11th Floor Conference Room 
Wednesday
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00Vax!11th Floor Conference Room 
10:00 - 10:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00Introduction to Graph Theory11th Floor Conference Room 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00MATLAB – Epidemics 11th Floor Conference Room 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 3:303D Printing with Professor Pedro Felzenszwalb11th Floor Conference Room 
Thursday
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00Math Jeopardy!11th Floor Conference Room 
10:00 - 10:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00Transforming Images with Matrix Arithmetic 11th Floor Conference Room 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Image Filters and Effects11th Floor Conference Room 
12:00 - 2:00Tour of Brown University and lunch at the “Ratty”Gather at ICERM's 11th Floor Reception Desk 
2:00 - 2:45MATLAB – Image transformations11th Floor Conference Room 
2:45 - 3:30MATLAB – “Obama me!” and other image effects and filters11th Floor Conference Room 
Friday
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 10:00Puzzle hunt11th Floor Conference Room 
10:00 - 10:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
10:10 - 11:00Introduction to Modular Arithmetic11th Floor Conference Room 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Frequency Analysis11th Floor Conference Room 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Shamir’s Secret Sharing11th Floor Conference Room 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45MATLAB – Caesar and multiplication ciphers 11th Floor Conference Room 
2:45 - 3:30NASA coding session with Kim Arcand11th Floor Conference Room 
3:30 - 4:00Closing Ceremony11th Floor Conference Room  

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