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: write the Qualifying Test and admit applicants.

Less visible are all the other things he does as past executive director and chairman of the board of directors of the MathPath nonprofit corporation. Most importantly, he advises the Senior Staff on all matters regarding the running of the program and the corporation, such as negotiations with potential host institutions, communications with professional advisors (legal, accounting and insurance), application for and administration of grants, publicization of MathPath in the mathematics community, monitoring the yearly donation campaign, maintaining records so that we may keep in touch with alumni, etc. He also 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 Program Director, April Verser (see 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. Unfortunately, in the last few years, Prof Maurer has been affected by a particularly difficult form of Parkinson's disease. First, this affected his ability to stand and walk, and then affected his ability to write and talk. Since 2018, he has not been well enough to come to camp at all, except by being beamed in to make occasional announcements and attend staff meetings. Prof Maurer stepped down from the Executive Director position in August 2019, accepting the title of Past Executive Director. He remains deeply involved with all aspects of running MathPath, particularly to assist guiding MathPath in its transition to new leadership. In 2020 he once again wrote most of the Qualifying Test.

Sam Vandervelde – Head of Proof School, San Francisco, CA

In order to assist with the transition to future camp leadership, long-time MathPath instructor and board member Sam Vandervelde is serving as Interim Executive Director until a subsequent Executive Director is identified and appointed by the Board.

April Verser

Ms. Verser, known to everyone as April, is a dedicated year-round employee of MathPath. As such, she oversees much of the off-season ground-work related to the operations of the program – such as monitoring admissions and working with the host site's staff – and is the first point of contact for all those interested in attending, visiting, or supporting MathPath.

During MathPath, her role focuses in as the person responsible for all matters outside of academics while MathPath is in session. This includes all matters of student care, hiring and supervising counselors, monitoring the health and safety of students, overseeing emergency protocols, and managing discipline in cases of behavioral problems.

In all of her duties, April puts the students' safety, 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, 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, contrabassoon, and piano professionally and is a Math Team Coach and member of the PROMISE Math Faculty at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA). She has over 10 years of experience in student affairs at the collegiate, high school, and younger levels. In her (limited) spare time, April enjoys all forms of textile crafting (especially cross-stitching) and baking.

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 as a counselor at MathPath in 2007. Her passion for the program continues to grow every year (she has not missed a session of MathPath since 2007).

Matt DeLong – Professor of Mathematics, Marian University, Indianapolis, IN

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. He continues to teach as an instructor at MathPath, and began his Academic Director duties in 2017, overseeing the faculty and course offerings.

John Howe – Retired Middle School Math Teacher, Princeton Day School, Princeton, NJ

Mr. Howe, sometimes known as "Honest John", came to MathPath in 2010 as an observing teacher. He was so excited by what he saw and learned that when offered a chance to work at MathPath two years later, he signed up immediately. Among other tasks he took on was running the Student Bank, where he eventually earned his nickname. When he retired after 42 years as a Middle School math teacher at Princeton Day School, he became the treasurer for MathPath.

Throughout the year, John now handles finances for MathPath as Chief Financial Officer, as well as other administrative tasks. He recently became a member of the MathPath Board of Directors.

While at MathPath, John spends his weekend driving for the optional activities, joining the whole program excursions, and supervising the Monday movie night. During the week he is on hand to run errands, transport students to the ER when needed, and help the Program Director and the Academic Director administer the program.

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 November 12, 2019
Copyright 2001–   MathPath
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