The response to our pilot year of the Pre-PROMYS Mentoring Program has far exceeded our expectations thanks to the enthusiasm of our PROMYS for Teachers alumni. As such, we decided that the program deserves a more inclusive and representative name – the PROMYS Math Circle. For the 2016-2017 school year, we received nominations from 20 teachers at 19 different schools inviting nearly 70 high school students in Massachusetts to participate in a mentoring program that will help them develop the rigorous mathematical habits of mind that programs like PROMYS require. Like all new programs, the PROMYS Math Circle is a work in progress. We hope it will be just the first step towards a long-term initiative that will continue to interact with teachers and their students for the foreseeable future.
Thanks to a generous grant from a family foundation in the Boston area, PROMYS will intensify its efforts to reach out to Massachusetts students, in particular to those from low-income and under-served backgrounds. We have asked alumni of PROMYS for Teachers (PfT) to help us identify low-income students in Massachusetts who demonstrate mathematical talent and interest but who may or may not be quite ready to participate in a program like PROMYS. Students will be invited to participate in a mentoring program, called the PROMYS Math Circle, for the remainder of the 2016–2017 school year. Under the guidance of mentors (PfT alumni and graduate students in mathematics), students will engage in after-school math circles, working on specially-designed problem sets. The mentors will also provide support to these students during the admissions process, should they decide to apply to PROMYS or similar programs. In addition to engaging these students collaboratively in the creativity and beauty of mathematics, we hope to receive a larger number of strong applications to PROMYS 2017 from mathematically talented and financially needy students from Massachusetts.
We would also like to increase awareness that financial aid is available for all U.S. students with financial need who are accepted to PROMYS. Full financial aid covers all tuition, room and board costs. In addition, PROMYS can nominate particularly needy students for an NSF-funded stipend to cover earnings they would otherwise have earned from a summer job.
Here are some of the resources the PROMYS Math Circle will be using.
Nominations for the 2016-2017 school year are closed. However, if you would like to nominate a mathematically talented low-income Massachusetts student for mentoring in 2017-2018, please click on this link: Student Nominations. These students should exhibit curiosity about mathematics but do not need to have taken advanced math courses or have perfect grades.
Write to us with feedback and suggestions. If you would like to be actively involved in the program as a mentor or in some other way, please do let us know.