Summer Grants

Mu Alpha Theta

Summer Grants

To be considered for a summer math program/reserach grant, the Mu Alpha Theta member's chapter must have been active during the previous twelve months. (This means that the school would not have reactivated or chartered in the twelve months prior to the application.) Grants may be requested for up to $2,000 per each student who has been a member since at least the semester prior to the application. A member may apply more than once but will be awarded no more than $4,000 in total.

High school members may request grants through the summer after high school graduation. Two-year college students may request money through the summer after their graduation from their member college. Coursework taken using grant money may not be used for courses that are typically available at the high school or the student's home college, such as Calculus I, Calculus II, or Statistics. Grant money may be used to pay tuition or fees for a summer math program at or sponsored by an accredited school or university. Grants may reimburse expenses for doing research in mathematics or applied mathematics. This may include, but is not limited to, housing, travel, publication fees, and supplies. Grants for tuition and fees will be sent directly to the institution offering the program. Students receiving reimbursed expenses will be asked to provide receipts for items and will be required to submit a Form W-9. The member's service to and active participation in their Mu Alpha Theta club may be considered in the grant selection process. 

If you're a summer grant awardee and would like to share your experience, email a short paragraph to matheta@ou.edu and we will post your comments on our website and social media. 

Grant determinations will be made every Friday and awardees will be notified via email. 

Click here to download the summer grant application.

Some summer programs that might qualify:


For other available programs check this site.


Summer Grant Recipients by Year:

2016 · 2015 · 2014 · 2013 · 2012 


Summer Grant Recipients for 2016

  • Recipient’s Name: Aileen Ma
    Recipient’s School: Niwot High School
    School Location: Niwot, CO
    Program: Prove It! Math
    Aileen's Program Comments: "Prove It! Math Academy was by far the most interesting and challenging summer program I have ever attended. The talented Monks family not only taught us new math concepts, but also how beautiful the field of mathematics is. We learned how to apply new thinking to solve a problem with a familiar concept, such as using orbits and stabilizers to simplify the counting of permutations. By asking us questions to stretch our boundaries of comfort, we learned about new fields of math such as hyperbolic geometry and surreal numbers. Most of all, we learned how to lay a solid foundation on our mathematical arguments through writing and editing our proofs. By learning about the proof-writing process that all mathematicians go through, we were able to see a glimpse into a future life as a mathematician.
    Working with so many brilliant and talented mathematicians was the highlight of my experience. I was in awe of the elegant solutions my teammates concocted to the most convoluted problems, while also admiring how diligently they would brute force long and tedious tasks to get to the solution. While brilliance was useful in solving problems, determination proved to be the most important part. My teammates and I bonded closely over the past two weeks, not only in solving problems together, but also through free time spent on similar hobbies such as chess, billiards, table tennis, and Foosball. We had so much fun, whether it be achieving a breakthrough on a problem or sinking an impossible pool shot.
    Along with all the math, the instructors made sure that we didn't waste our opportunity being in Colorado. From local field trips to an excursion in the lovely Rocky Mountain National Park, the instructors perfectly balanced a heavy load of math with fun activities to keep us energetic about both. As we usually spent a good majority of our day working on math (8+ hours), the excursions were an interesting diversion to allow us to relax and recuperate before diving back into our problems.
    I had the most fantastic time at Prove It! Math Academy this year, and am incredibly grateful to the instructors, the fellow mathematicians, and to Mu Alpha Theta for such an amazing experience.
  • Recipient’s Name: Andrea J. Zhang
    Recipient’s School: Ridge High School
    School Location: Basking Ridge, NJ 
    Program: US/Canada Mathcamp
  • Recipient’s Name: Jessica Metzger
    Recipient’s School: Timber Creek High School
    School Location: Orlando, FL 
    Program: Summer Science Program
  • Recipient’s Name: Jeongwoo Seo
    Recipient’s School: Iowa City West High School
    School Location: Iowa City, IA 
    Program: AwesomeMath
  • Recipient’s Name: Lucas 
    School Location: San Antonio, TX 
    Program: AwesomeMath
    Lucas' Program Comments:This year I attended the AwesomeMath Summer Program at the University of Paget Sound.  I learned a lot in my 3 weeks of Algebra and combinatorics classes and as a result I am now scoring much higher on mathematics competition tests.  Any motivated problem solver will find that they have become a much better math student after finishing former IMO coach Titu Adnreescu's program.
    I am very grateful for the Mu Alpha Theta grant.  Without it I would not have had such a great opportunity to learn higher level concepts and meet so many people with similar interests.  I had such a great time at camp and was given a glimpse at what college life in a STEM subject is like.
  • Recipient’s Name: Brian P. Tobin
    Recipient’s School: Stoneman Douglas High School
    School Location: Parkland, FL
    Program: AwesomeMath
  • Recipient’s Name: Richard L. Luo
    Recipient’s School: Highland Park High School
    School Location: Dallas, TX 
    Program: AwesomeMath
  • Recipient’s Name: Neel P. Gandhi
    Recipient’s School: Archimedean Upper Conservatory
    School Location: Miami, FL
    Program: Mathematica Camp, Math track
  • Recipient’s Name: Anna Rezhko
    Recipient’s School: Woodbridge High School
    School Location: Irvine, CA 
    Program: Mathematica Summer Camp
  • Recipient’s Name: JiHwan Min
    Recipient’s School: Catalina Foothills High School
    School Location: Tucson, AZ
    Program: Mathematica Summer Camp
  • Recipient’s Name: Brandon R. Jiang
    Recipient’s School: Desert Vista High School
    School Location: Phoenix, AZ
    Program: Ross Summer Program
    Brandon's Program Comments:  I had no idea what to expect prior to attending the Ross Program. Its description claimed that it was an intense 6 week program dedicated to mathematics, and they were definitely correct about that. Every day, we were given a set of math problems to work on ­ with peers, but without outside resources like books and the internet. We were to discover these famous results on our own, experiencing the proofs like mathematicians did hundreds of years ago. At Ross, I also met many other fellow students with interest in mathematics and we had a really fun time struggling with difficult problems, sometimes spending hours or days. Ross was a truly unique experience that furthered my endeavors in mathematics as well as introducing me to many new friends.
  • Recipient’s Name: Austin Chen
    Recipient’s School: Redmond High School
    School Location: Redmond, WA  
    Program: Stanford Summer Math Program
  • Recipient’s Name: Gaurav Rao
    Recipient’s School: Hillsborough High School
    School Location: Tampa, FL 
    Program: MathLy
  • Recipient’s Name: Emily M. Shoemaker
    Recipient’s School: St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School
    School Location: Ausin, TX
    Program: Yale Summer Astrophysics Program
  • Recipient’s Name: William Zhang
    Recipient’s School: Vestavia Hills High School
    School Location: Birmingham, AL 
    Program: PROMYS
  • Recipient’s Name: Siang Tseng
    Recipient’s School: Centennial High School
    School Location: Elliott City, MD
    Program: Wolfram Summer Program
  • Recipient’s Name: Meghana Vemulapalli
    Recipient’s School: American Heritage School Delray
    School Location: Delray Beach, FL
    Program: MathLy
  • Recipient’s Name: Jong Suk Lee
    Recipient’s School: Huron High School
    School Location: Ann Arbor, MI
    Program: PROMYS

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Summer Grant Recipients for 2015

  • Recipient’s Name: Jade Garzon
    Recipient’s School: W. Tresper Clarke High School
    School Location: Westbury, NY
    Program: Work at University of MA in Dartmouth, on zebrafish fin regrowth
  • Recipient’s Name: Nadav Kohen
    Recipient’s School:Iowa City West High School
    School Location: Iowa City, Iowa
    Program: MathILy
  • Recipient’s Name: Kevin Rao
    Recipient’s School: Clements High School
    School Location: Sugar Land, TX
    Program: Honors Summer Math Camp (Mathworks)
    Kevin's Program Comments: "The Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp is a prestigious program dedicated to teaching high school students college level math and providing a friendly environment in which they can conduct math research. Thanks to the Mu Alpha Theta summer research grant, I have been able to attend this program as a second year student.
    This summer has mainly been dedicated to rigorous mathematical learning in two fields, Combinatorics and Analysis, and conducting math research. Our courses were an hour long each once a day, five days a week. Every day, new material was introduced in both classes, so we were required to work out homework problems and review fresh concepts every night with our counselors. The professors were very clear in explaining each new theorem and formula, making the learning process smoother and more enjoyable.
    Some of my best memories are of conducting mathematical research at Mathworks. There’s nothing quite like the excitement one gets when they realize they are getting close to making the first progress on a complex math problem in over three decades. The research mentor that Mathworks helped us get in touch with was also very helpful. In multiple cases, it was only with his insight and experience that we were able to make progress after being stuck for several days on one part of our proof. Doing research at the Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp was a very rewarding experience!
  • Recipient’s Name: Christine Jou
    Recipient’s School: Klein High School
    School Location: Spring, TX
    Program:Honors Summer Math Camp (Mathworks)
    Christine's Program Comments: The six weeks I spent at Mathworks this past summer were unforgettable. I was beyond excited to return for my third year of camp because each and every summer, I have the pleasure of working with many talented and bright individuals. Their passion and enthusiasm is what drives the environment to be so stimulating, so wonderful for learning. The daily four hours of study group collaboratively working on problem sets could not have been spent any better.
    This summer, I had the opportunity to conduct research with two other campers and explore the characteristics of floating and sessile micro-droplets in the absence of gravity. The research process was grueling, no doubt, and there were days where we felt like nothing was accomplished. Yet, while we had several bumps and bruises along the way, having to compile our work, present our research at 3M, and write a paper for Siemens was truly rewarding.
    In the afternoons, third-years attended Abstract Algebra and Analysis II, classes that were rigorous and challenging but made accessible to high school students. I found myself surprisingly striving to “think deeply of simple things”; it became my goal to understand the proofs and not memorize the formulas (in fact, we had to prove the formulas first). Aside from our academic classes and occasional guest speaker, we still had flexible and relaxing schedules. Throughout camp, our various activities ranged from Friday picnics by the San Marcos River and late nights at Bamberger Ranch to basketball tournaments at the rec center and weekend excursions in Austin.
    Mathworks was thoroughly inspiring; I left with not only life-long friends but mathematical maturity. I am extremely indebted to Mu Alpha Theta, Mathworks, my instructors, counselors, and fellow campers for a remarkable summer experience unlike any other that I will always treasure. I would strongly recommend this program to anyone willingly to be creative and perseverant, eager and enthusiastic to learn math hands-on. You don’t have to be a genius at math; just don’t be afraid of tackling open-ended problems headfirst, delving into a problem’s subtleties, exploring its depths, thinking carefully, and of course, having fun.
  • Recipient’s Name: Brian D. Bell
    Recipient’s School: Dulles High School
    School Location: Sugar Land, TX
    Program: Prove It! At Fort Collins, CO
    Brian's Program Comments: "Prove It!Math Academy was an amazing experience.  Being able to attend not only improved my proof-writing skills, it improved my general understanding and appreciation for math as well. In a packed two-week curriculum, I learned material ranging from propositional logic to combinatorics to alternative geometries to surreal numbers in fun and understandable ways. One of the best things about the camp was the instructors. They're all talented teachers, and each had a unique style of instruction that appealed to different learning styles. Moreover, with six instructors for 20 students, they were very accessible, both educationally and personally. Dr. Kenneth M. Monks preferred to be called "Kenny," and more than one camper referred to Ms. Monks as "camp mom," occasionally shortened to just "mom." Over the course of the two weeks, you truly feel like a part of the Monks family.
    That said, Prove It! certainly wasn't all fun and games. We studied or practiced math for over 8 hours a day, but we enjoyed every minute of it. One way they kept it interesting was through a set of 20 problems of varying difficulties handed out at the beginning of camp. We worked on them in two teams of ten for a couple hours every night, eventually presenting our proofs for the problems we'd solved in a competition set up to resemble a research presentation. We also learned practical skills like typing in LATEX, a language used for nearly all typed mathematics such as that found in journals, and the process a research paper must go through before it can be published.
    My only warning to those wanting to apply is that Prove It!, as its name implies,will expose you to proof-based math. It's not designed to make you faster at computational problems such as those found in many high school math competitions, and if you go there expecting that it will, you'll likely be disappointed. That said, as someone who had only ever been exposed to speed-based computational mathematics prior to this camp, I enjoyed and appreciated the knowledge I gained at Prove It!and feel it to be far more applicable than the skills I'd been learning before I attended.
    So if you love proofs or, more likely, have no feelings about them and little exposure to them, I'd encourage you to attend.I left Prove It! without a single complaint; it's truly an exceptional camp with exceptional instructors that builds a fun and competitive environment in which to learn.
  • Recipient’s Name: Agni Kumar
    Recipient’s School: Milton High School
    School Location: Milton, GA
    Program:Summer Science Program
  • Recipient’s Name: Tiffany E. Pan
    Recipient’s School: Klein Oak High School
    School Location: Spring, TX
    Program: Summer Science Program
    Tiffany’s Program Comments: " Within the first four days of arriving on the New Mexico Tech campus I had found an enthusiasm for learning that I’ve never experienced before. People say every experience is different, that each one impacts us and teaches us new things. However, “different” is terribly inadequate when describing the 39-day adventure that is the Summer Science Program.
    Teamwork and community is given a new meaning at SSP. Astronomy, math/physics, and programming problem sets were at times a collective effort- with all of us being challenged and learning together. Everyone had strengths and weaknesses and was willing to give help and be helped. We experienced many late nights during which we stayed up observing our asteroids, doing problem sets, or writing Python codes, and afterwards walked back to the dorm feeling extremely productive and ironically energized. Time passed so quickly sitting in front of the computer reducing raw images, coding, and debugging programs; the seemingly ridiculous and inexplicable amount of joy that came from seeing a cluster of pixels move across the screen was worth every cloudy night and Python syntax error.
    My days following SSP have been spent wandering around aimlessly wondering where the lectures, problem sets, Python bugs, and observing sessions were. This experience has been life-altering and so influential I cannot even begin to describe the effects. In fact, weeks after the end of the program, I’m still realizing how much my views on life and the universe have expanded, and I feel as if I’ve yet to even discover some of the ways in which SSP has changed me.
    I am incredibly fortunate to have been given this opportunity to research and create something significant from scratch with so many intelligent and talented people surrounding me. This unforgettable experience was made possible by Mu Alpha Theta, my professors, and TAs– words cannot express how thankful I am.”
  • Recipient’s Name: William Zhang
    Recipient’s School: Vestavia Hills High School
    School Location: Birmingham, AL
    Program: PROMYS
  • Recipient’s Name: Dylan Cordaro
    Recipient’s School: Don Bosco Preparatory School
    School Location: Warwick, NY
    Program: MathILy_Er
  • Recipient’s Name: Suzie Byun
    Recipient’s School: Centennial High School
    School Location: Ellicott City, MD
    Program: Mathematica Camp
  • Recipient’s Name: Michael K. Rupprecht
    Recipient’s School: Northside College Preparatory High School
    School Location: Chicago, IL
    Program: MathILy
  • Recipient’s Name: Ellen Y. Li
    Recipient’s School: Buccholz High School
    School Location: Gainesville, FL
  • Program: PROMYS
  • Recipient’s Name: Darshan Chakrabarti
    Recipient’s School: Northside College Preparatory High School
    School Location: Chicago, IL
    Program: PROMYS
  • Recipient’s Name: Alexander Yao
    Recipient’s School: Stephen F. Austin High School
    School Location: Sugar Land, TX
    Program: MathILy-Er
  • Recipient’s Name: Girishvar Venkat
    Recipient’s School: Clements High School
    School Location: Sugar Land, TX
    Program: Research at MIT in Representation Theory
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Summer Grant Recipients for 2014

  • Recipient’s Name: David Gonzalez
    Recipient’s School: Miami Country Day School
    School Location: Miami Lakes, FL
    Program: MathILy
  • Recipient’s Name: Mingu Kim
    Recipient’s School: David H. Hickman High School
    School Location: Columbia, MO
    Program: Perimeter Institute for Young Physicists
    Mingu's Program Comments: "The International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP) at the Perimeter Institute was an incredible experience, and I've had nothing like it before. Perimeter Institute is an amazing building full of physicists roaming around, writing all over the walls. Topics that we covered in our classes included special relativity, quantum mechanics, and general relativity. We also got to go to SNOLAB, a facility deep underground that is looking for dark matter. We broke off into small mentoring groups, and I was placed in a quantum information group, where we basically played games using classical and quantum strategies, looked into the basics with entanglement, and played around with quantum cryptography. There was so much math everywhere, and in my mentoring sessions we reached into complex matrix theory and tensor products, areas which I had never seen before. Besides all the math and physics, we also went bowling, visited Niagara Falls, played minigolf, and did lots of other social activities. All in all, it was one of the best times of my life!"
  • Recipient’s Name: Jong Suk Lee
    Recipient’s School: Korea International School
    School Location: Korea
    Program: MathILy
  • Recipient’s Name: Wilbur Y. Li
    Recipient’s School: Clements High School
    School Location: Sugar Land, TX
    Program: Texas Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp
    Wilbur's Program Comments: "I’m very thankful for the Mu Alpha Theta grant for my Texas Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp program. It’s been my second year at this program. My first year was a rigorous study of elementary number theory, requiring us to question every assumption and reasoning in our proofs. This year, we have moved on to Combinatorics and Analysis, again with very skilled and experienced professors. We’ve learned some advanced techniques like Polya-Burnside and Generating Functions, along with rigorous foundations in sequences and limits.

    This year, I’ve been doing research with a team of three, guided by a mentor, Dr. Matt Gately, from Silicon Labs in Austin. Our project is based on our mentor’s master’s thesis, involving swept volume 3D volumetric displays. We’ve been provided with encouraging work conditions and experienced research coordinators, along with peers that are working on similar projects. Each group recently presented to a group of professionals at the 3M center in Austin. We look forward to participating in the Siemens research competition, and possibly also entering in the Intel Science Fair.

    Aside from having a productive academic experience, the camp has been effective at letting students meet new people and try out new things. The weekend excursions have taken us to parks, musicals, ranches, and even outlet malls. We’ve also had basketball and soccer tournaments and even scavenger hunts. It’s been a very enjoyable and memorable six weeks."
  • Recipient’s Name: Alec J. Nelson
    Recipient’s School: Clover Hill High School
    School Location: Midlothian, VA
    Program: Wolfram's Mathematica Summer Camp
    Alec's Program Comments: "I recently returned from the Mathematica Summer Camp at Bentley University. It was a wonderful experience, and now I am inclined to attend Wolfram's other summer program called the Summer School. When I signed up for this camp, I was expecting a goal-focused, intense camp where the other students would be so focused on their work that they would not be doing anything besides coding. In fact, this camp was quite the opposite. Students were eager to work together and help each other. The staff, mostly Wolfram employees, were outstanding and made the camp the awesome time that it was."
  • Recipient’s Name: Tiffany E. Pan
    Recipient’s School: Klein Oak High School
    School Location: Spring, TX
    Program: AwesomeMath at University of Texas in Dallas
    Tiffany's Program Comments: "The two and a half weeks I spent attending the AwesomeMath program was a remarkable and enlightening experience. The courses, though rigorous, were made highly enjoyable by some of the most intelligent people I’ve had the pleasure of learning from.

    The jam-packed schedule consisted of a morning lecture and problem session followed by an afternoon lecture and problem session. We were able to choose two different classes to take among the four subjects (Algebra, Combinatorics, Geometry, and Number Theory). Combinatorics 2 covered various topics within Combinatorics and Probability including modeling, symmetry and recursion, as well as a bit of Statistics and Graph Theory. I was intrigued by the method with which the instructor explained the material. It had never crossed my mind that AIME/USAMO problems could be looked upon and solved with such simplicity. As the course progressed, I eagerly began to adopt organization and new methods of approaching problems. My afternoons in Number Theory 2 consisted of lessons and proofs in subjects such as Modular Arithmetic, Fermat’s Little Theorem and Euler’s Theorem. The problem solving sessions were spent applying the various theorems, algorithms, and identities in mathematical proofs.

    Aside from the intensive academic schedule during the day, the occasional evening game of pool with friends brought out our competitive sides as we put our geometry skills to test. Over the course of almost three weeks, I had not only found long-term friends but also experienced a growth in my mathematical abilities. I am extremely grateful to Mu Alpha Theta, my instructors, TAs, and RA for providing me with an unforgettable experience at AwesomeMath. I would strongly recommend this program for anyone seeking to improve in contests such as AMC, AIME, and USAMO."
  • Recipient’s Name: Jennifer Peng
    Recipient’s School: Tahoma High School
    School Location: Tahoma, WA
    Program: Stanford Number Theory
  • Recipient’s Name: Michael Rupprecht
    Recipient’s School: Northside College Preparatory High School
    School Location: Chicago, IL
    Program: AwesomeMath at University of Texas in Dallas
    Michael's Program Comments: "I would recommend AwesomeMath to anyone who is interested in competitive math. The classes themselves are enormously helpful, and taught me a great deal. Each person gets to choose two classes, from level 1 to 3, and out of geometry, algebra, number theory, and combinatorics. I took level 2 geometry and level 2 algebra, and most of the material focused on proof-based problems, preparing us for the USAMO, but also taught us a lot of techniques that can be used in computational competitions (such as upper-level AIME problems).

    But in no way are those the only elements of the fun at camp. After classes get out, we are allowed to do pretty much whatever we wanted: there are organized activities outside (ultimate frisbee, morning run, etc.) and inside (Mafia, cards, etc.). There were also activities that only happened once, such as a talent show, a trip to the on-campus observatory, student-staff games of basketball, ultimate frisbee, and other sports.

    There were three days off during the course of the camp, and on one of them the whole camp went to an amusement park (Darien Lake). On the others, there were non-mandatory (but definitely worth not missing out on) planned activities, such as a game of Assassin, and a scavenger hunt, among others. Lastly, it was my birthday the last full day, and my RA kindly bought our group catered cookies (which were delicious)."
  • Recipient’s Name: Natalie Wigger
    Recipient’s School: David H. Hickman High School
    School Location: Columbia, MO
    Program: The Summer Science Program
  • Recipient’s Name: Junyi Wu
    Recipient’s School: David H. Hickman High School
    School Location: Columbia, MO
    Program: PAVE at Vanderbilt
    Junyi's Program Comments: "PAVE is a pre-college program held during the summer at Vanderbilt University, which offers students a variety of opportunities to focus on applied mathematics in real-life settings. The schedule was always busy: lectures for most of the day followed by a recitation period which consisted of reviewing the day's concepts...Despite the busy coursework, I was still able to have free time. The program allowed us to tour laboratories and meet with professors on campus. It's amazing how much one can learn just through talking with people who share genuine interests. In addition, there were numerous volunteering opportunities and a few group trips during the weekends.

    The environment at PAVE is phenomenal. The academics, the people, and the campus made me never want to leave. My mentors were extremely helpful in providing help when needed and offering great college advice. PAVE taught me the importance of time management and organization, just a couple traits crucial in college. I am certain that my experience this summer has allowed me to have a better understanding of a future career."
  • Recipient’s Name: Minjia Zhong
    Recipient’s School: Buchholz High School
    School Location: Gainesville, FL
    Program: Research at U of FL
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Summer Grant Recipients for 2013

  • Recipient’s Name: Samir A. Khan
    Recipient’s School: American Heritage High School
    School Location: Plantation, FL
    Program: AwesomeMath (Dallas)
  • Recipient’s Name: Mingu Kim
    Recipient’s School: Hickman High School
    School Location: Columbia, MO
    Program: Garcia Summer Research Program
  • Recipient’s Name: Paige M. Kordas
    Recipient’s School: Carl Sandburg High School
    School Location: Orland Park, IL
    Program: MIT Women in Technology
  • Recipient’s Name: David M. Li
    Recipient’s School: Basha High School
    School Location: Chandler, AZ
    Program: AwesomeMath
    David's Program Comments: "I attended the AwesomeMath program at the University of Texas at Dallas, which is slightly shorter than their other camps (5/2 weeks vs 3 weeks) but contains just as much mathematics! The classes were quite rigorous and enjoyable; they consisted of a 90 minute lecture followed by a 90 minute problem-solving session, where the students would work together on problems. As I took level 2 classes, the instructors focused on proofs as well as computation; most of the "homework" problems consisted of proofs. (Some teachers required that they be done and others did not check.) In modular arithmetic, we learned standard number theory concepts - Euler's theorem, divisibility, and so on - and how to apply them to AIME/USAMO-style problems. Counting strategies also focused on standard combinatorics techniques, such as generating functions, and was more computationally oriented. The professors covered material quite quickly, but at the end of the camp, we all received copies of their notes and problems for personal use, as well as two math books of our choice.

    In the evenings and on the weekends, the camp offered many recreational activities - pool, ping-pong, and so on. As our camp was shorter, we had only Sundays off and did not go on field trips; we still had the scavenger hunt and team competition, however! Several forums were given by the residential advisors/teacher's assistants, covering various mathematical topics; we also had office hours in the evenings, where you could ask the teachers about the assignments.

    Overall, I quite enjoyed this opportunity to learn mathematics and am thankful to Mu Alpha Theta for the opportunity. I feel that the topics covered here will be helpful on the AIME and other competitions and recommend this camp to anyone interested specifically in competitive mathematics."
  • Recipient’s Name: Angeline Rao
    Recipient’s School: W. P. Clements High School
    School Location: Sugar Land, TX
    Program: Texas Mathworks
    Angeline's Program Comments: "My experience at Texas Mathworks this summer was unforgettable. Mathworks hosts a research program that second and third year students have the opportunity to take part in. We each worked on a research project with other students under a mentor. Research is a very eye-opening experience that I am very glad that Mathworks provided. While math concepts that I had learned in the past definitely helped me with my research project this year, the overall challenges that I faced were very different. While doing math research, I was charting unexplored territory, hoping to pioneer a path that others could build upon. There is no way to be sure that a solution to the problem will or will not exist besides attacking the problem head-on. Because I had worked on a research project last summer as well, I was the team leader of our research team that worked under the mentorship of Dr. Lucas Rusnak of Texas State University. Our project was named a Regional Finalist at the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math Science and Technology.

    Mathworks fosters a very welcoming and enjoyable learning environment that motivates students of all backgrounds from all over the nation, and even all over the world, to cooperate in learning and solving problems. However, Mathworks is especially unique in that it promotes thinking deeply about concepts that we always take for granted. I know you know that n*0 = 0, but can you prove it rigorously without circular reasoning? Where does all of the mathematics that we know REALLY start from? Mathworks provides a ground-up education starting from Number Theory where one does not know something unless one proves it first; thus at the beginning of camp, all we have to go off of are axioms. This summer, first year students took the Number Theory course, second year students took Combinatorics and Analysis I, and third year students took Abstract Algebra and Analysis II. At night, groups of three to five students work together on problems assigned in their classes.

    This summer was my third year in the program. As a junior counselor at the Honors Summer Math Camp this summer because of my experience and leadership abilities, I was given the unique opportunity to mentor younger high school students and guide them in grasping mathematical concepts. I know firsthand that the teachers at Mathworks are very intelligent and engaging. They make college level classes accessible to high school students. Although the courses I took, Abstract Algebra and Analysis II, are undeniably challenging courses, I was able to learn a lot throughout the summer and through the guidance of these teachers. Mathworks is truly a valuable experience that I will treasure for many years to come."
  • Recipient’s Name: Ganesh Ravichandran
    Recipient’s School: W. T. Clarke High School
    School Location: Westbury, NY
    Program: Research on Kepler planet finding at CalTech
  • Recipient’s Name: Francisco Rivera
    Recipient’s School: American Heritage High School
    School Location: Plantation, FL
    Program: AwesomeMath (Dallas)
    Francisco's Program Comments: "Robert Heinlein once said, “Happiness lies in being privileged to work hard for long hours in doing whatever you think is worth doing.” It is not easy for me to find the perfect words to express the gratitude that I feel towards Mu Alpha Theta for giving the opportunity to participate in the AwesomeMath Summer Program. I had the privilege to attend the camp for almost three weeks, but the benefit of this program will long outlive my stay, as I have had the possibility to be exposed to wonderful new concepts that I will continue to study to better understand them and deepen my knowledge. I had received very favorable recommendations of the program, but without a doubt, experiencing it only confirmed and enriched these opinions. Through AwesomeMath, any student that is eager to learn can be benefitted. The classes, the concepts, the professors, my counselor, the extra talks, the handouts, my peers, and even the dorms exceeded my already high expectations."
  • Recipient’s Name: Daniel Wang
    Recipient’s School: W.T. Clarke High School
    School Location: Westbury, NY
    Program: Simons Summer Research Fellowship
  • Recipient’s Name: Karen Y. Yang
    Recipient’s School: Klein High School
    School Location: Klein, TX
    Program: Summer Science Program
    Karen's Program Comments: "Throughout my tenure at SSP (New Mexico campus) for the past five and a half weeks, I have grown so much from my experience that I can hardly imagine what my life would be like without it. Calling SSP amazing would only be an understatement - The packed schedule consists of morning lecture (math and physics), afternoon lecture (astronomy), homework sets over math, physics, astronomy, and python programming, field trips to local museums and geographical sites, and frequent guest lectures. Established in 1959, SSP is also steeped in tradition through its various activities, many of which we were left to discover for ourselves. After the rush of daytime activities came long nights under the stunning New Mexico night sky; all 36 students were divided into teams of 3 to observe their assigned asteroid at the local observatory roughly once every 4 days. Fighting against the weather, we took many sets of images in an attempt to pinpoint our asteroid in the sky. Once found, we would use self-written python programs to determine its location and orbital elements to aid us in determining and predicting the asteroid’s orbit. Through this, I have discovered so much from astronomy; I not only learned new concepts, various measurements of time and location, and how to control a telescope, but also spotted my first meteor and identified constellations against the rich night sky.

    This schedule ensured many busy weeks of nonstop activities, and we often stayed up late to keep up with our work. At once stressful and exhilarating, emotions ranged from nearly overwhelmed to that brilliant moment of clarity when you finally understand an elusive concept to intellectual hilarity when your friend comes up with a ridiculous but mathematically intriguing problem on pizza cutting. As such, survival here depended on teamwork, a concept that took on a whole new level. Everyone at SSP had different strengths, and that lead to massive collaboration efforts; we constantly asked each other questions and held impromptu mini tutoring sessions to get the work done. That was also a defining part of SSP’s beauty – everyone there, from students to TAs to staff, was so talented and brilliant in his or her own way that by coming together we would undoubtedly be exposed to something new. The level of trust and friendship developed there was truly inspiring. At the end of it all, my mind, grown accustomed to such extreme lifestyle, blankly wondered where everything had gone and why there were no more programs to debug.

    Under the mentorship of Professor Faison, Andersen, and Shipman, I was equipped with newfound knowledge that not only further broadened my field of view on math and science, but also my perspective on learning and of life itself, and would otherwise have never encountered at school or elsewhere. SSP not only forced me to realize my potentials and limits by pushing me to the max, but also reinforced my passion for math and science. I’d like to thank everyone at SSP and Mu Alpha Theta for their hand in building this beautiful experience, as it became so much more than I would have ever expected, and strongly encourage anyone willing to risk a new journey to apply in the future!"
  • Recipient’s Name: Matthew Zhu
    Recipient’s School: American Heritage School
    School Location: Plantation, FL
    Program: Summer Science Program
  • Recipient’s Name: Jennifer Zoffada
    Recipient’s School: Castro Valley High School
    School Location: Castro Valley, CA
    Program: Summer Program at Columbia University
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Summer Grant Recipients for 2012

  • Recipient’s Name: Leigh Braswell
    Recipient’s School: AL School of Fine Arts
    School Location: Cullman, AL
    Program: MathCamp
    Leigh's Program Comments: "Ever since I departed from the AwesomeMath Summer Program last year, I knew I wanted to attend a math camp again this summer. I finally decided on Canada/USA Math Camp, mainly because it lasted longer than AMSP (five weeks instead of three) and seemed to be less focused on contest and more on college-level mathematics, an area I had not previously been exposed to. Indeed, during my time at Math Camp, I was completely inundated with higher level mathematics- even the notation seemed unfamiliar! However, I soon became quite comfortable dealing with this new and fascinating language as I navigated my way through an incredibly interesting multitude of classes. I started with crash courses in linear algebra, multivariable calculus, group theory, and ring theory, all subjects I had merely heard of prior to camp. These Week 1 classes were invaluable in the weeks to come; for example, in just a few days, the amazing multivariable calculus teacher gave me such a solid foundation that in latter weeks I was able to understand classes on complex analysis and attend lectures on topics such as using double integrals to find the sum of the reciprocals of the squares of the positive integers. Not only did my proficiency in calculus skyrocket, but I become very familiar with topics in graph theory, combinatorics, and invariant theory. I am now able to prove theorems I never knew existed, including the Redfield Polya Theorem, whose application allows me to count the number of distinguishable bracelets with different numbers of colored beads, without using brute force! I even had the privilege of attending classes on olympiad problem solving with themes such as polynomials, inequalities, and Putnam problems. Basically, every single one of the classes I attended in this short time was great preparation for the math I will do in upcoming years, both in school and in contests. I so look forward to applying the techniques and skills I gained at Math Camp very soon! However, to just talk about the success I had with the academic program at Math Camp would be leaving out a very significant part of what made my experience unforgettable. The culture of Math Camp is unlike anything I have ever been a part of before; a community of mathematicians, scholars, ultimate Frisbee players, singers, dancers (etc.) makes for the most welcoming and incredible summer camp environment. Of course math classes were the top priority, but Math Camp is so much more than just attending class. It’s listening to John Conway speak at the daily colloquium, learning a new computer language and programming levels of a video game, getting lost and turning a 12 mile hike into a 23 mile “hardcore” hike, exploring both inside the classroom and out, solving puzzles about cereal and zombies, wearing sarongs, working and making friends with brilliant campers and staff, and being unabashedly yourself, no matter what. I couldn’t imagine not attending Math Camp this summer, and I can’t thank Mu Alpha Theta enough for giving me the means to. This experience will stay will me forever, and I promise, the knowledge I gained will not be wasted!"
  • Recipient’s Name: John Gee
    Recipient’s School: Calhoun High School
    School Location: Port Lavaca, TX
    Program: Simons Summer Research Fellowship
    John's Program Comments: "I am grateful for the summer grant offered to me this summer by Mu Alpha Theta. The experiences I've had during the past seven weeks in the lab have been eye-opening to my conception of science. In the past, I've taken science to be a compilation of concepts for us to understand and to be tested. The discoveries were made and we just had to learn about them. This summer was my first experience doing research, and the independent and relentless work has truly given me the intuition as to what research is all about. Few high school students have the opportunity to work in a lab like the one I did. It was a great honor to work in this Simmerling lab and to be with each and every one of the Simons Fellows this past summer.

    My research pertained to implementing computer simulations that modeled the molecular dynamics of protein structures. Though the theme of the project was biologically oriented, the methods that were used were primarily statistical. Thanks again to Mu Alpha Theta. I’m sure that what I did this summer will eventually be a significant influence on my future career. I wish the same for future Simons Fellows!"

  • Recipient’s Name: Pamela Hu
    Recipient’s School: Rickards High School
    School Location: Tallahassee, FL
    Program: Awesome Math
    Pamela's Program Comments: "From the title, you can assume that this camp is awesome. But from personal experience, I can honestly say that this is just an understatement. As a returning camper, I was definitely excited to see what else there was to learn from another three weeks.

    I started off my mornings with Geometry. This class focused on polygons and circles. The most useful thing I gained from this class is a mindset that questions everything. “To think logically…”, that was the goal our teacher had set out for us. Nothing was said to be what it was until proven so. Every theorem we used, every law and every formula was proven. It was surprising to see how many things we just assumed. Whenever a classmate made an assertion, our teacher would reply with a “why”. This became the most used word during class and because of that, I was taught to think deeper.

    My afternoon class revolved around counting, a field of mathematics known as combinatorics. During the three weeks, we covered fundamental topics including pigeonhole principle, stars and bars, and graph theory. My teacher was very friendly and open to any questions. The most valuable lesson that I learned from her was to be organized.

    In combinatorics, problems often involve multiple steps, several cases, and large numbers. The solutions to each problem my teacher taught were very clear, very well planned out and this influenced my approach. Keeping track of what’s being calculated, whether physically labeling or mentally, is ideal.

    After class, many recreational activities and math-related forums were offered. The weekends gave us time to relax and enjoy some of the bigger events. This year we went to Great America, had a scavenger hunt, a talent show, and a dance. I’ve genuinely enjoyed my time at AMSP. Beyond learning mathematics, I had the opportunity to get to know some really amazing people. They are a very talented group of kids with a lot of potential and I can’t wait to see them again. Thank you, Mu Alpha Theta, for allowing me to have this experience."

  • Recipient’s Name: Aditya Jain
    Recipient’s School: Clements High School
    School Location: Sugar Land, TX
    Program: Mathworks - San Marcos, TX
    Aditya's Program Comments: "Mathworks runs an absolutely wonderful summer camp. After coming home from math camp last year, I was initially quite sad, but I was also very happy because now I had something wonderful to look forward to for next year. Coming back to math camp, so many things were as I expected and so many things were unusual. As a second year student in the Honors Summer Math Camp, I took Analysis I and Combinatorics. Not having taken Calculus yet, I really enjoyed getting to do analysis in camp and preparing myself for calculus through this. We explored different properties of sequences, series, and functions and truly learned what it meant to have a limit. Furthermore, in Combinatorics, we learned different counting principles. We examined various areas of study from combinations and permutations to graph theory to brain-racking logic puzzles. Having had some difficulty in Combinatorics in the past, taking a course at camp truly solidified my understanding of Combinatorics. Beyond the two main classes I took, I had the opportunity to work on a research project with two other camp students. Receiving this opportunity to work closely with two other students for many hours a week in an area of mathematical research, I was incredibly thankful, but also very confused. Over these 6 weeks, I learned so much more than I could have imagined from my Siemens project. Beyond just learning math, I learned the value of hard work, persistence, and "out-of-the-box" thinking. However, math camp wasn't just all work and no fun. Taking advantage of our free time in the day and at nights, I developed close friendships with other math camp students as well, making friends I value greatly and have already made plans to keep in touch with now that camp is over. Mathworks offers a truly unbelievable and unique experience in their program. I wouldn't trade this opportunity to make priceless friendships, experience new things, and learn a subject that I truly enjoy for anything. I strongly recommend that anyone else with a passion for math should apply to this program!"
  • Recipient’s Name: Frederick William Lake, IV
    Recipient’s School: Highland Park High School
    School Location: Dallas, TX
    Program: Stanford - Quantum Mechanics
    William's Program Comments: "I would like to thank you very much for helping me with the costs of attending Stanford this summer. It was an amazing experience: the campus was beautiful; I was constantly among great kids who were as smart or smarter than me; and the math I was learning was well past my prior knowledge. We learned Eigenvectors and Eigenvalues and also a whole host of new matrix operations. They especially went very in depth on how to derive the wave equation. The book we used was Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by Park. We also used the book, Six Quantum Pieces, by Valerio Scarani. My Professor, Dr. Gary Oas, also gave me Spacetime Physics by Edwin Taylor at the conclusion of the program as a prize for being such a dedicated student. It was an absolute privilege to study Quantum Mechanics at Stanford, a valuable experience which I will always deeply appreciate. Not only that, but I was so impressed with Stanford that I decided I would apply Early Action after only my third day there."
  • Recipient’s Name: Vivek Miglani
    Recipient’s School: Stoneman Douglas High School
    School Location: Coral Springs, FL
    Program: Awesome Math
    Vivek's Program Comments: "During this summer, I attended the AMSP summer program at University of California, Santa Cruz. Each student took 2 courses, and I took combinatorial arguments and geometric proofs. In these courses, I learned a lot of advanced techniques to solve Olympiad level problems. In combinatorial arguments, we focused on combinatorial geometry and learned about the many identities in this area. Since combinatorial geometry also happened to be our professor's research interest, we were exposed to the proofs of known theorems and the unsolved problems. It was amazing to see how many of our assigned problems could be varied slightly to become a currently unsolved problem which many researchers are working on. In geometric proofs, we covered a wide range of topics from Ceva's Theorem to projective geometry and inversion. Each theorem and lemma that we used in class was proved from the basics without assuming anything. Outside of the math lessons, I had a great time meeting so many new friends who all shared the same passion for math. I learned an enormous amount of math and was able to have an experience I will remember forever! I hope that Mu Alpha Theta can help many more students attend a summer program and share the wonderful experiences that I enjoyed."
  • Recipient’s Name: Brian Min
    Recipient’s School: Trinity Preparatory School
    School Location: Winter Springs, FL
    Program: Awesome Math
  • Recipient’s Name: Daniel Wang
    Recipient’s School: W.T. Clarke High School
    School Location: East Meadow, NY
    Program: Simons Summer Research Fellowship
    Daniel's Program Comments: "For the past seven weeks, I had the privilege of conducting mathematics-related research at Stony Brook University as part of the Simons Summer Research Program. Under the mentorship of Prof. Carlos Simmerling of the Department of Chemistry, I was provided the tools and guidance to explore computational biology, a modern field of science that utilizes mathematical principles to solve biological problems. More specifically, I used powerful computers to simulate the complex process of protein folding using a tool known as molecular dynamics. These simulations use a vast array of mathematical calculations to determine the coordinates of each atom in a protein over time. I was truly amazed to see mathematics applied in such a unique way; the experience affirmed my longtime belief that mathematics is the tool to solving the world’s most complex problems. By coupling the principles of biochemistry with the power of mathematics, I was able to shed some light on one of biochemistry’s most perplexing questions. In addition to work I conducted during lab hours, the Simons Summer Research Program also allowed me to explore mathematics through various presentations and lectures that were offered in the evenings. For instance, I particularly enjoyed attending a guest lecture by MIT professor Erik Demaine on the computational and geometric properties of folding origami. It was interesting to hear about the complex mathematics behind such beautiful creations. In addition, we attended weekly lunch talks hosted by professors from Stony Brook University on the cutting-edge research they are currently conducting. Topics covered in these guest lectures ranged from the molecular mechanisms of tuberculosis to the potential dangers of radioactive tuna fish. We also had the chance to take a guided tour of Brookhaven National Laboratory, where we were able to see the inner workings of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and the National Synchrotron Light Source.

    In addition to providing me with a priceless research experience, the Simons Summer Research Program also gave me the opportunity to meet a group of amazing people from across the nation and make lifelong friendships. The community of students at the Simons Summer Research Program was unlike anything I had ever been a part of. In this diverse group of scholars, everyone seemed to have an inspirational story to tell. I was truly surprised and excited to meet other young scientists from across America who shared my passion for discovery.

    I would like to thank my mentor, Prof. Carlos Simmerling, as well as the entire Simmerling Lab for providing me with the guidance in exploring a field of study that was once foreign to me. I would also like to thank Karen Kernan, director of the Simons Summer Research Program, for organizing an inspiring and enriching summer experience. I strongly recommend any students with a passion for math and science to apply to this amazing summer program!"

  • Recipient’s Name: Lawrence Wu
    Recipient’s School: Stephen F. Austin High School
    School Location: Sugar Land, TX
    Program: PROMYS
    Lawrence's Program Comments: "PROMYS is a great program. The ideals of the program are given by 'To think deeply of simple things' - Arnold E. Ross. I quickly learned that simple does not equal easy and to question any result that I accept as true. The core class was number theory, where we began by seeking rigorous proofs for basic results using only the axioms for the integers. Through this process we realized how naturally these results generalized to other rings. Eventually we were able to prove beautiful results such as the law of quadratic reciprocity. In addition, I took abstract algebra and exploration lab. Due to the rigor and exploration involved, by the end of the program I felt a deeper understanding of mathematics, as opposed to the mystery of plugging numbers into formulas without knowing why they work. PROMYS was an invaluable benefit to my mindset. Thanks Mu Alpha Theta for the [grant]!"
  • Recipient’s Name: Haohang Xu
    Recipient’s School: Ladue Horton Watkins High School
    School Location: St. Louis, MO
    Program: MathCamp
  • Recipient’s Name: Karen Yang
    Recipient’s School: Klein High School
    School Location: Spring, TX
    Program: Stanford's SuMac
    Karen's Program Comments: "Upon reflection of the 4 weeks of my life that flew by so quickly this summer at SUMaC, I have come to the conclusion that they were some of the most influential and life-changing moments of my life. Academically, the excellent program SUMaC offered provided just the right amount of rigor; I attended program I, which began with number systems and finite algebraic structures, and gradually transferred to abstract algebra, number theory, and permutations before wrapping up with partitions, cosets, quotients, rings, and fields. The course was able to introduce relatively new topics to me, and broadened both my perspective of and intrigue towards mathematics. The structured program allowed the students to effectively use all of their time, with lectures in the morning, problem sets in the early afternoon, and usually planned activities later in the day, which sometimes involved informative guest lectures given by Stanford professors. Everyone also participates in research which culminates into a presentation at the end of the program; my research topic, cryptography, allowed me to explore the real world application of mathematics in ways I could never have imagined before. The incredible amount of mathematics I learned in that short period of time provided me a sense of immense joy in my newfound knowledge.
    Beyond the academics of the program, SUMaC offered many activities for fun bonding moments, such as a trip out to San Francisco, SUMaC Olympics, and a talent show, just to name a few. After 4 weeks of collaborating with TA’s and other campers, I felt incredibly close to each and every individual like I had known them for years. Every single person there was a truly bright and talented individual that h elped to form not just a sense of community within SUMaC, but also the genuine love of a large family. The unbelievable memories of unimaginable joy and intense math that I shared with everyone created, quite simply, the most amazing time of my life.
    I would like to thank the Mu Alpha Theta, as well as all the amazing counselors, TA’s, guest lecturers, Rick, and my new friends from everywhere around the world for having a hand in making my incredible experience what it is today. I would strongly recommend anyone interested to apply to SUMaC, as it will definitely be a decision they will never regret."
  • Recipient’s Name: Catherine Yip
    Recipient’s School: Cooper City High School
    School Location: Cooper City, FL
    Program: Mathworks - San Marcos, TX
    Catherine's Program Comments: "As a second-year at math camp, I had the opportunity to take Analysis I and Combinatorics. Both were completely new to me for I had no previous exposure to either topic. I really enjoyed both classes. In Analysis, I loved being able to prove concepts I used in my AP Calculus AB and BC classes. It was so cool to be able to know why a limit existed as opposed to just knowing that it did. I really liked the format of the class in that through our daily presentations of theorems we proved the previous nights. I had the opportunity to see different ways of approaching theorems and methods of solving. It was great being able to see how others viewed problems. Additionally, Terry, who taught our Analysis class, taught me to pay attention to every single minute detail. Everything had to be in the precise, correct order in order for the proof to “flow”. In Combinatorics, I greatly enjoyed using math concepts we simply glanced over in school, such as combinations and permutations, to go in-depth into other combinatorial proofs. It was also really interesting to begin learning graph theory and apply the concepts we learned overall to apply them to combinatorial puzzles and riddles. The applications were one of the coolest things we could do in Combinatorics. One of the best parts of math camp is the opportunity to do mathematical research under a university professor. It is an amazing experience and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. Not everyone has the opportunity to conduct research and sometimes, I can’t even believe that I’m actually here doing it. I’ve learned so much from the research project I’m currently working on with my teammates.

    Mathworks has also changed how I view Mu Alpha Theta. I find myself thinking about ways I could prove the problems of the regional competitions. I think it would be really cool if Mu Alpha Theta was expanded to include number theory, analysis, and combinatorial concepts. Unfortunately, many of the schools I know of do not offer students the opportunity to take such classes and solely focus on the “core” mathematical subjects, such as geometry, calculus, and statistics. While we can learn a lot from these classes, I feel that we could learn even more from number theory and other classes that teach students why mathematical concepts work and the very foundations of math. In addition to competition topics, I plan to expand the Mu Alpha Theta chapter at Cooper City High School by introducing number theory concepts to members or any other students who want to learn them. I would definitely recommend Texas Mathworks to any person who might be looking for a great summer experience. The campers, counselors, and teachers here are amazing and it has an honor to be able to work with them. I have learned so much, more than I thought I could from a “math” program when I first heard about Texas Honors Summer Camp."

  • Recipient’s Name: Jennifer Zoffada
    Recipient’s School: Castro Valley High School
    School Location: Castro Valley, CA
    Program: COSMOS
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