Mathpath 2006 held at the University of California
Santa Cruz, CA
July 2 - July 30
Teachers of gifted and talented mathematics students,
Do you have math students that have talents in mathematics way beyond other students their age? Do you have students that consistently rank among the top students in math competitions? The best thing you can do to help your gifted and talented math students is to introduce them to MathPath. Give these students the brochure for MathPath or tell them about the website http://www.mathpath.org/camp.htm. MathPath will benefit these students greatly by expanding their views and knowledge of mathematics in a fun and loving atmosphere.
One of my students attended MathPath two years ago and could not stop talking about how great it was. This year I went to MathPath as a volunteer math coach. I work with students, attended lectures, attended break-out sessions, went on field trips with the students, and got to know the students outside the classroom. All the students I talked to said they liked the camp and were glad they came. They also said they loved being around people like them that loved math. The students attended lectures by distinguished mathematicians and chose the break-out classes that they preferred to attend. The sessions were on number theory, problem solving, mathematics history, combinatorics, knot theory, MATHCOUNTS, games and invariants, Zome constructions, projective geometry, hyperbolic geometry, spherical geometry, analytical geometry, complex numbers and trigonometry, and much more. These students enjoyed expanding their mathematical knowledge and socializing with other students that appreciate the world of mathematics. The students were also given time for recreational activities such as soccer, chess, table tennis, basketball, swimming, hiking and more. Every student I talked to wanted to return to MathPath next year.
Pre-IB Mathematics Instructor and Math Club Sponsor
Fairview Middle School
To Teachers and Parents of Highly Gifted Math Students,
My experience as a Math Coach at MathPath 2006 exceeded my wildest dreams. If you are looking for a math camp for your mathematically talented youth, then look no further. I teach math at a gifted middle school and coach MATHCOUNTS, and this program is by far the best summer program I have ever seen for this age group.
The people are great. All of the math faculty are experts in their areas of math and have published many books, and even the dorm counselors are either undergraduate or graduate students in math at well-respected universities across the country. Everyone speaks “math” at this camp. There are also weekly visits by distinguished mathematicians from schools like Princeton, UC Berkeley, and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. In addition to hearing outstanding lectures, students often strike up math conversations with the professors over dinner or on a planned outing.
There are two plenary sessions daily, one on the History of Mathematics and another on varied topics by distinguished mathematicians, which all students attend. There are also several breakout sessions from which students choose. The breakout sessions vary widely and students have a range of topics that span many areas of mathematics. The thing that pleased me most was the fact that during the course of a lecture, the professor would often put the material in context and tell students which area of mathematics, such as real analysis, complex analysis, set theory, number theory, combinatorics, etc. the lecture involved. Then, if a student had more interest in that topic, he/she would know where to look for more information and further discussions.
The caliber of mathematics taught is very high and all of the students feel challenged. For instance, rigorous proofs are often demonstrated for well-known theorems.
Students are not held responsible for these proofs, but many students are able to follow the proofs and ask or answer intelligent questions concerning the proofs.
In addition to plenty of high-level math, there is also time for recreation. There are chess and table-tennis tournaments, soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming, hiking, and biking for any student interested, and even a group that runs in the mornings. There is something for every student interest, including time for practicing an instrument such as piano. We also go off campus one day per week to visit places of interest in the area, such as aquariums, hands-on science museums, and technical corporations.
All the students I spoke to loved the camp, the classes, and the friends they made; everyone wanted to return the next year. For many students it was their first time away from home, but after the first few days no one seemed homesick. They said it was the best camp they had ever attended. They loved the chance to pursue their love of math and not feel different. I will definitely advise my students who enjoy mathematics that this camp is a very worthwhile one to attend.
Marilyn Howard (Math Coach, MathPath 2006)
Page last updated February 15, 2006
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