About PROMYS for Teachers

Purpose 

PROMYS for Teachers (PfT) engages secondary school teachers in an intensive experience of mathematical exploration. Over the course of six weeks, PROMYS teachers develop, through problem-solving, many classical results in number theory. Teachers do not need an advanced mathematical background prior to attending PfT, yet the PROMYS content is challenging enough for even the most mathematically proficient participants.

The Common Core State Standards call for exactly the kind of problem-solving and open-ended exploration that PROMYS provides. Through investigation, participants practice the habits of mind at the core of creative mathematics. Accordingly, PROMYS participants are asked to work beyond their centers of competence and to push the limits of their knowledge. Numerical observations made in early problem sets are enriched and extended in later sets so that participants enjoy a first-hand experience of unraveling deep and significant truths out of simple ideas. Teachers who experience this type of exploratory learning are better prepared to bring this spirit of independent inquiry into their own classrooms.

The immersive nature of PROMYS for Teachers provides a safe and supportive environment where teachers can spend time as learners. Alumni say the rich mathematical community formed at PfT provides ongoing inspiration in their work and has motivated them to remain in the profession. In collaboration, workshops, lectures, and online, this network remains a deeply valued personal resource years (or in some cases decades) after teachers first participate in PfT.     

Founders

Glenn Stevens Founder and Director of PROMYS for Teachers and of the PROMYS program for high school students, Glenn is Professor of Mathematics at Boston University. He earned his PhD from Harvard University in 1981, specializing in Number Theory, Automorphic Forms, and Arithmetic Geometry. He has authored or edited three books and published numerous articles on these topics. Glenn has organized major research conferences and delivered well over two hundred invited lectures around the world. Currently, he serves as Principal Investigator for Assessing Secondary Teachers’ Algebraic Habits of Mind, a National Science Foundation (NSF) DRK-12 collaborative grant with colleagues from EDC and St. Olaf College. Glenn was Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded Focus on Mathematics Math and Science Partnership and co-Principal Investigator of the NSF Noyce grant, Math for America Boston Teaching Scholars Program. He is also President of Math for America Boston. 

Al Cuoco Co-Director of PROMYS for Teachers, Al is Distinguished Scholar at Education Development Center (EDC) and the lead author of CME Project, a NSF-funded high school curriculum published by Pearson. For twenty years, Al taught high school mathematics in Woburn, MA. He earned his PhD in Mathematics in 1979, and continued teaching high school for another 14 years. His experience as a mathematician and as a teacher are both central to his work in curriculum development, professional teacher development, and education policy. Al co-directs Focus on Mathematics, a partnership among universities, school districts, and EDC that has established a community of mathematical practice involving mathematicians, teachers, and mathematics educators. Al also co-directs the development of the course for secondary teachers in the Institute for Advanced Study program at the Park City Mathematics Institute.

History of PROMYS

PROMYS (Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists) has existed for over twenty-five years at Boston University, engaging mathematically inclined high school students in the process of mathematical exploration through their work on unusually challenging problems in number theory. Since 1991, PROMYS has also worked with pre-service mathematics teachers from the Boston University School of Education. In the summer of 1999, PROMYS expanded its activities again by engaging in-service Massachusetts middle and high school mathematics teachers in the program's summer activities and running five professional development seminars throughout the year.

Between 1992 and 2016, there have been 420 teacher participants and 59 teacher counselors (known as T^2s). Altogether, they have been immersed in mathematics for 787 summers at PROMYS for Teachers.

2016 PfT Community

Faculty
Professor Glenn Stevens (Boston University) Director of PROMYS since 1989
Professor Michael King (Bowdoin College) Director of PROMYS for Teachers
Professor David Fried (Boston University)
Professor Carol Findell (BU School for Education, Emeritus)
Professor Steven Rosenberg (Boston University)
Professor Marjory Baruch (Syracuse University)
Professor Henry Cohn (Microsoft Research and MIT)
Krishanu Sankar (Harvard University) PROMYS Research Coordinator

Counselors
Maria Ines de Frutos Fernandez (Boston University, PhD student)
Dr. Ben Fischer (Boston University, PhD)
Maria Fox (Boston College, PhD student)
Alessandro Ghirardi (Boston University, PhD student)
Dr. Hudson Harper (Boston University, PhD)
Alexander Hoerman (Winsor School, Boston)
Will Kellogg (Stoughton High School, Stoughton)
Professor Li-Mei Lim (Bard's College of Simon's Rock)
Dr. Tom McCauley (Boston University, PhD)
Rob Sayer (Boston University, PhD student)
Tim Westfield (Boston College High School, Boston)

Twenty-four teachers participated in the 2016 PROMYS for Teachers program: 16 first-year teachers and 8 returning teachers.

Sponsors

PROMYS for Teachers is grateful for the generous support of its sponsors: Boston University, National Science Foundation, The Noyce Foundation, Math for America, Math for America-Boston, the PROMYS Foundation, and private donors.

Partners

PROMYS for Teachers partners with Education Development Center, Inc (EDC); Math for America Boston (MfA-B); and Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI)

Please click here for information about PROMYS partners.

 

 

NSF