PROMYS 2020 Bridge Program for Returning Students and Counselors

To run online from July 5 - August 15, 2020.

For returning students and for counselors who already understand the PROMYS style of doing mathematics, and who are already engaged in the PROMYS community, we believe the energy and commitment of the PROMYS community can be channeled to offer valuable mathematical opportunities through a remotely run program. 

After much soul searching and many conversations, we have reluctantly determined that we cannot provide the intense, totally immersive experience that is the hallmark of the PROMYS first-year experience, in an online setting. As a result, we are not planning to have first-year participants in the program this summer.

Advanced Seminars, Research Projects, and Other Activities

Returning students are strongly encouraged to review number theory and to interact intellectually with other students and counselors. We expect returning students to broaden their mathematical experience by participating in advanced seminars and problem-solving activities.


In partnership with the Clay Mathematics Institute and with key support from the American Mathematical Society’s Epsilon Fund, the Linde Family Foundation, and the National Security Agency, we intend to offer returning students and counselors three advanced seminars this summer and to also offer research projects.



Professor Dev Sinha of the University of Oregon, a former PROMYS Counselor (1992) and Head Counselor (1993-95), will offer an innovative seminar on Topology based on an online seminar he is currently running at MIT. Dr. Marjory Baruch of Syracuse University will run an advanced online seminar on Graph Theory. Dr. Henry Cohn (Microsoft Research and MIT) and Dr. Cameron Freer (MIT) will run an advanced online seminar on Undecidability and Hilbert’s 10th Problem. Abstracts for these seminars are here.

We are in ongoing discussions with research mathematicians and, by July, will have gathered a rich set of research projects for returning students and for counselors. 

As always in PROMYS, we expect counselors and students to also run their own mini-courses and seminars on topics of common interest to members of the community. Guest lectures by “visiting” mathematicians are also being planned.

We are deeply disappointed not to be gathering with first-year participants on the Boston University campus this summer for the intensive in-person PROMYS experience so familiar to us all from prior years. But we are excited about the mathematical challenges we will tackle together this summer and the online mathematical community we will all enjoy.

Tablets: Extensive use will be made of virtual whiteboards, and participants will be required to have a tablet (or equivalent touch screen) and stylus.

Cost and Financial Aid: The fee for the 2020 Bridge Program is $1,700. Need-based financial aid is available up to the full cost of the program and may also include the cost of a tablet, stylus and wifi access. The program is free for families who make under $60,000 a year.

Technical Support: We do not wish technical hurdles such as limited access to wifi to interfere with anyone’s full participation and will help to the greatest extent we can. 

After a successful 2020 Bridge Program, we look forward to welcoming first-year students, returning students and counselors in person to an on-campus PROMYS 2021!