Advanced Summer Program for students age 11-14
who show high promise and love mathematics

Program Directors

Stephen Maurer – Professor of Mathematics Emeritus, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

Prof Maurer is most visible to MathPath students and their families for what he does on the academic side: publicize the program to potential students, write and score the Qualifying Test, admit applicants, determine financial aid, answer correspondence from families and the public during the off-season, coordinate and announce the course offerings, assign classes to rooms, arrange student academic schedules, obtain and organize feedback on all students that is used in the evaluation letters, and teach various courses – see his entry in the faculty biographies.

Less visible are all the other things he does as executive director and chairman of the board of directors of the MathPath nonprofit corporation. He negotiates with potential host institutions, works closely with the chosen institution before arrival, interfaces with professional advisors (legal, accounting and insurance), applies for and administers grants, publicizes MathPath in the mathematics community, applies for necessary visas for foreign staff, leads the yearly donation campaign, buys stores and ships supplies, writes and updates the webpages, including the Pre-Session Briefing and travel information, collects and organizes the various medical, dietary and other information families submit, maintains records so that we may keep in touch with alumni, and makes use of his wide contacts in the mathematics community to identify and recruit the best new talent to teach and lead MathPath into the future.

Prof Maurer (known to students as Mr M) works very closely all year with the Camp Director April Verser (below) to make MathPath the best summer math program for middle school age kids anywhere. Other members of the senior staff also play crucial roles all year, especially the Treasurer, John Howe, and the Academic Director Matt DeLong.

Prof Maurer first came to MathPath at the direct invitation of Dr Thomas, in 2003, for 3 weeks, as a proofs and math writing instructor. He proceeded to make such a pest of himself, suggesting other people to hire and ways to change the program, that Dr Thomas eventually threw up his hands, first making Maurer Academic Director in 2006, then chairman of the board in 2007. Upon Dr Thomas' taking emeritus status, Prof Maurer became Executive Director in September 2014.

Note: The above paragraphs describe everything Prof. Maurer is responsible for, and did well at the top of his form. Unfortunately, in the last 3 years he has been much slowed down by a particularly difficult form of Parkinson's disease, and so he has been delegating more responsibilities. In 2018, for the first time since 2005, he may not be well enough to come to camp at all, except by being beamed in to make occasional announcements and attend staff meetings.

April Verser – Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora, Illinois

Ms. Verser, or April, is the point person for all matters outside of academics while MathPath is in session. This includes matters of student care, such as hiring, training, supervising and advising counselors, monitoring health and safety of students (including dietary restrictions, health concerns involving the nurse or first aid, and more), overseeing emergency protocols, and managing discipline in cases of behavioral problems. She also plans and organizes the activities students do in their free time, including daily recreational activities and the large-scale weekend program trips. During the session, she is the primary liaison with the host site's staff, helping to make sure that the program runs smoothly in partnership with the host institution. Additionally, she manages the daily concerns of the students, including making regular announcements, delivering mail, and making trips once or twice a week to acquire supplies for the program or for the students. She also cares for MathPath parents/guardians by being the main contact person on the Senior Staff for questions or emergencies (see Pre-Camp Briefing for details).

In all of her duties, April puts the students' health and happiness first, working constantly to assure the best experience possible for all MathPath students. She has a fun-loving and playful side when appropriate (particularly when playing the game "SET!" – at which she is unbeatable, and YES, that IS a challenge) while maintaining decorum.

April is originally from Loveland, CO, where she was a young person passionate about two things – math and music. Her love for both has only grown, as evidenced by her work through college and graduate school and her professional life. She plays the bassoon and contrabassoon semi-professionally and is a Math Team Coach at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA), along with her full-time role in the Student Life Department at IMSA, helping students with homework and the daily struggles of being gifted young people highly interested in STEM fields. She has over 10 years of experience in student affairs at collegiate, high school, and younger levels. In her (limited) spare time, April also enjoys all forms of textile crafting (especially cross stitching).

April first found out about MathPath when her sister was a student in MathPaths 2004 and 2005. April saw what a wonderful experience MathPath was for her sister, an exceptionally mathematically gifted young person, to finally be surrounded by intellectual peers. Watching her sister's growth through MathPath inspired April to apply to work at MathPath in 2007. April was a counselor for several years beginning in 2007. Her passion for the program only grew after every year (she has not missed a single session of MathPath since 2007!), leading to her growth into the position of Head Counselor, followed by Student Life Director, and now Acting Camp Director.

Matt DeLong – Professor of Mathematics, Marian University, Indianapolis
(starting Fall 2018; formerly Taylor University, Upland Indiana)

Prof DeLong has assumed many of the academic duties formerly done by Prof Maurer. Prof DeLong's primary responsibilities are in choosing, hiring, and directing the faculty. He also coordinates and announces the course offerings, assigns classes to rooms, oversees the assignment of student academic schedules, and teaches various courses – see his entry in the faculty biographies.

Prof DeLong first came to MathPath as an instructor in 2014. This summer will be his fifth year teaching in the program, and second year helping to oversee the faculty and course offerings.

George R. Thomas

Prof. Thomas is one of the most experienced in the world in organizing and running summer programs for students showing high promise in mathematics.

He coined the rhyme

"A mathematician is cautious
In the presence of the obvious"

that appeared from 1993 to 2003 in the logo of the Canada/USA Mathcamp, a leading program for gifted high school students. The rhyme summarizes his vision of the habit that needs to be inculcated early in students in working out mathematics proofs. He stresses to students that "mathematics is the language of form." He believes that a summer program for gifted young students is necessary:

"In providing a summer program for the highly gifted, one is not depriving the youngster of a normal childhood. Rather, such a student, possessing a higher mental faculty, is strong in several areas of learning, including mathematics, has the capacity to absorb at a faster rate, and needs to be challenged, provided with the fundamental concepts, and encouraged to form proper habits, social and academic. The student, faced with the higher expectation at the intensive summer program, will rise to meet it."
See Prof. Thomas' views on mathematics education in America's schools.

Page last updated March 27, 2018
Copyright 2001–   MathPath
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