Organizing Committee
Abstract

GirlsGetMath@ICERM is a five-day non-residential mathematics program that is open to high schoolers, regardless of gender, who live in or near greater Rhode Island and who will be entering the 10th or 11th grade in the fall of 2019.

GirlsGetMath occurs in an encouraging environment that builds young students' 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 encourages 20-25 high schoolers to explore topics such as cryptography, the mathematics of voting, image processing, prime numbers and factoring, and fractals.

The goals of the program are:

  • to show young adults 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 provide an affirming environment that introduces high schoolers 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 2018 GirlsGetMath@ICERM program.
GirlsGetMath@ICERM is made possible solely through grants and donations. The 2019 program is made possible through grants and gifts from the American Mathematical Society, the JetBlue Foundation, Microsoft Research, the Phoebe Snow Foundation.

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
The program will take place at ICERM on the Brown University campus in historic Providence, RI.
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 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 now open. Interested students may apply through MathPrograms.org.
**To Apply as an Alumni Intern Volunteer
ICERM will only accept alumni internship applications from the previous year's 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.
Deadline
Applications for the 2019 program are now closed. Applications open in late winter, and the application deadline is mid-to-late May.

GirlsGetMath Schedule

Monday, August 12, 2019
TimeEventLocationMaterials
8:30 - 9:00Registration / Check In11th Floor Collaborative Space, 121 South Main Street, 11th Floor 
9:00 - 9:50Warm up: LockBox and Introductions11th Floor Collaborative Space 
9:50 - 10:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Break 
10:00 - 11:00Introduction to cryptography11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Introduction to matrices and vectors11th Floor Lecture Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Introduction to MATLAB10th Floor Seminar Room 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 3:30Lab: Introduction to MATLAB10th Floor Seminar Room 
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 9:50Warm up: The Monty Hall problem11th Floor Collaborative Space 
9:50 - 10:00Group Photo / Break11th Floor Collaborative Break 
10:00 - 11:00Recommendation systems11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Lab: Recommendation systems and heat maps11th Floor Lecture Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Probability primer11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45Spam or Ham11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:45 - 3:30Lab: Bayesian classifiers10th Floor Seminar Room 
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 9:50Warm up: Topology puzzles11th Floor Collaborative Space 
9:50 - 10:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Break 
10:00 - 11:00Transforming 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 - 1:00Lunch 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Template matching11th Floor Lecture Hall 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45Lab: Image filters and effects10th Floor Seminar Room 
2:45 - 3:30Lab: Template matching10th Floor Seminar Room 
Thursday, August 15, 2019
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 9:30Warm up: The game SET11th Floor Collaborative Space 
9:30 - 1:30Visit to Brown campus and Harris Lab, lunch on campus  
1:30 - 2:00Apportionment11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:00 - 2:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:10 - 3:30Lab: Apportionment10th Floor Seminar Room 
Friday, August 16, 2019
TimeEventLocationMaterials
9:00 - 9:50Warm up: Geometry and gerrymandering11th Floor Collaborative Space 
9:50 - 10:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Break 
10:00 - 11:00Introduction to graph theory11th Floor Lecture Hall 
11:00 - 11:10Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
11:10 - 12:00Epidemic spread11th Floor Lecture Hall 
12:00 - 1:00Lunch 11th Floor Collaborative Space 
1:00 - 1:50Lab: Epidemic spread on graphs10th Floor Seminar Room 
1:50 - 2:00Break11th Floor Collaborative Space 
2:00 - 2:45Wrap up session11th Floor Lecture Hall 
2:45 - 3:30What's next? Panel on college and internships11th Floor Lecture Hall 
3:30 - 4:30Closing Ceremony11th Floor Lecture Hall 

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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