We encourage alumni to keep in touch and to give us their perspective on MathPath years later. Below are some of
the very thoughtful responses we have received, with comments from the oldest alumni first.
MathPath was truly the start of my mathematical career. I remember, when I first arrived, being somewhat intimidated by the knowledge of other students, and that provided much motivation for me to improve my mathematical skills. But most importantly, MathPath was when I began to truly love math. Modular arithmetic, hyperbolic geometry, and Rubik's cube-ology were standout subjects that fascinated me. But the moment which sticks out most was during these sessions when we formed small groups with a mentor. It was there that I learned the famous proof that there are infinitely many primes. Such a simple and elegant argument astonished me. It was in that moment that I decided I wanted to be a mathematician.
Alumnus, 2005, doing graduate work in 2014 in math at Cambridge as a Churchill Scholar
Mathpath helped me realize - after much time - that math does not have to be something done in a school or a professional institution; it is a labor of love as much as any other pursuit is. That my career is in a different field does not preclude the continued study of mathematics and contribution to the field.
Alumnus, 2005, winning awards as a theater lighting designer
MathPath was one of the most revolutionary experiences I have had, and is the sole reason that I have become at all notable in mathematics. Coming from Utah, where being good at math isn't that hard (in comparison to, say, California, Texas, and New York), MathPath was an incredibly eye-opening experience; I saw just how much further I had to go along the path for mathematics. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of MathPath!
I still remember MathPath as my first exposure to the intellectual world. Knowing that somewhere out there, other people who enjoy learning existed helped me survive middle school.
MathPath made a huge difference because it was an exposure to higher-level mathematics while I was still in middle school. It was the perfect amount of structure for a middle schooler and I learned a lot. I am also still in touch with many of my old Mathpath friends today since I have seen them at math competitions and summer programs since.
It's impossible to understate the difference MathPath made: it got me thinking about so many things! First of all, the sessions on the history of math and the attitude about the subject led me to understand what mathematics is really about. Besides that, I saw some very specific instances of what exists in mathematics: introductions to many different areas. Even if there was not very much formal theory - this is difficult without any formal training - I will always remember that knots have interesting invariants, that there are Ramsey numbers, that a kind of geometry can come out of a few simple axioms (Prof. Hartshorne's projective geometry lectures), how to find the order of the Rubik's Cube group, that things can be generalized, that things show up in nature in unexpected ways (Conway's pinecones), the types of thinking found in Mr. L.'s Problems of the Day, &c., &c. More than I realized it in 2007 and 2008, Dr. M.'s mathematical writing sessions were very helpful. I keep many of the things I learned there in mind, now that I spend so much time writing proofs. I'm glad to have had all the new experiences, mathematical and not, at MathPath. Thank you for everything!
I think MathPath was the first exposure I had to lots of really smart kids my age in the same place. Prior to attending, I felt pretty isolated at my school, and I had little sense of how my intelligence compared to others'. However, at MathPath, I was immersed in an intense intellectual environment in which tons of people were much smarter than me, and I loved it. I think that MathPath gave me a taste of an environment that I have continued to seek in my high school and college communities. Everybody was so friendly, smart, and funny at MathPath--it was a rare opportunity for which I continue to be grateful.
Mathpath was my first introduction to the beauty and wonder of real mathematics, and my interest, beginning at MathPath has persisted to this day!! THANK YOU!
MathPath and other math programs I attended during my summers had a strong influence in helping develop my interest in mathematics, from giving me exposure to topics I would never have seen in school, but also more than that, helping me find a strong sense of community. I am still in touch with many of the friends I met at MathPath! The experiences I had at MathPath are precious and valuable to me for those reasons.
It was the first time I had seen the love of math en masse, and it made me decide that it would not be the last.
MathPath was the first time I realized that liking math did not make me an anomaly. I was struck by how close I became to my fellow MathPathogens and the counselors alike. Lots of time was spent doing math, but I have so many other great memories of that summer too. MathPath was my first time away from home, and I remember being so scared of it. It was a truly welcoming experience, with the counselors and peers combining to form a wonderful community. MathPath has inspired me to continue going away for math programs during the summer, including AMSP this past summer and Canada/USA Mathcamp this coming summer - but I will always remember MathPath as where my mathematical journey truly started. Thank you for a great summer!
MathPath was hands down the best camp of any kind I have ever attended. One thing I noted after attending Duke TIP (not for a math course) was that the MathPathers I got to know were much more mature than TIPsters, which is a great part of why I enjoyed MP more. MathPath definitely made my interest in math grow exponentially! I can't thank y'all enough for making that month (4 weeks, 28 days, 2 fortnights for Coach D) one of the best of my life.