Texas A&M Relaunches Math Research Camp for High School Students
After a two-year hiatus, Texas
A&M University's SMaRT Camp for high school math
students has returned.
The very popular Summer
Mathematics Research Training (SMaRT) Camp organized by the College
university math department lost its funding after 2013, but, with the
support of the Texas A&M math department and small grants from
Mathematical Society, Mathematical Association of America and the Texas A&M
Office for Diversity, it's back.
Advanced high school students
from all over the world attended the two-week summer camp in late June
— free of
charge — and not only indulged their own passions for mathematics, but
research skills that helped them delve into topics like numbers theory,
cryptography and computer architecture.
"There are many camps like
this around the country," said Texas A&M Math Professor Peter
founded the camp six years ago, "but they cost a lot to attend. So, to
back and still free, it was happiness."
The students, some of whom came
from as far away as Hawaii, spent all two weeks on campus.
"We try to teach them how to
do real research, not soundbite math problems," Kuchment said. "We find
where we can start from scratch and move on to very advanced topics
Every morning started out
with a lecture by Oksana Shatalov, another Texas A&M math
camp co-director. The students then separated into smaller study groups
counselors who were undergraduate and graduate students. They recapped
material in great detail and assisted campers with homework
Texas A&M professors dropped in for guest lectures on math
topics as well.
Saturdays were known as "Saturday
Celebrations" in which exams designed to test students on the week's
given. No grades were given and exams were merely marked with comments
to guide students to how to find the correct answers themselves.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.