Yongren (永仁) Fellowships

Yongren (永仁) Fellowships to PROMYS for Students in China

Yongren Fellow in 2019
Qianyun Zhou, the First-Year Yongren Fellow, with Professor Li-Mei Lim, Professor Glenn Stevens, and Professor Marjory Baruch at PROMYS 2019. Qianyun was a Returning Yongren Fellow in the PROMYS 2020 Bridge Program.

Sign up HERE to be notified of Yongren Fellowship updates for 2022.

PROMYS was delighted to award the 2021 Yongren Fellowship to Yiming Ding from Beijing. Yiming attends Admiral Farragut Academy Tianjin where she is a senior.

Yongren Fellow 2021
Yiming Ding, Yongren Fellow 2021

Envisioned and funded by a generous family foundation, the Yongren Fellowships are full scholarships to PROMYS for mathematically talented high school students in China who could not otherwise afford to participate in PROMYS. The fellowships cover tuition for the six weeks of the program plus any required books (when the program is run in person, the Fellowships also cover housing and meals plus visa fees and round-trip travel from China). 

Admissions decisions among eligible applicants are based on the following criteria: an applicant’s solutions to a set of challenging problems, teacher recommendation, high school transcript, and responses regarding interest in the program.

Applicants from China will not be disadvantaged in admissions by applying for a Yongren Fellowship. Since places at PROMYS are so limited, there tend to be only a handful of international students accepted to PROMYS each summer and there are no other spots at PROMYS which are reserved solely for students from China (or any other country). If paying for PROMYS would be burdensome, an applicant from China should apply for a Yongren Fellowship.

Please contact promysus@bu.edu if you have any questions about the Yongren Fellowship.

Yongren Fellowships 2021 Flyer

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, an applicant must apply for a Yongren Fellowship and be

  1. a citizen of China and a resident of China attending high school in China;
  2. in grade 9, 10, 11 or 12 when applying. (University students are not eligible, though they may be eligible to apply to be a counselor at PROMYS.) 
  3. at least 14 (and no older than 18) by the first day of the program;
  4. unable to participate in PROMYS without financial assistance; and
  5. proficient in English: Able to participate fully in mathematical discussions held entirely in English (a TOEFL or IELTS score is not required or accepted nor are SAT scores).

Finalists for the Yongren Fellowship are interviewed by Skype, WhatsApp or telephone.

Yongren Fellowship Notes

  1. As is explained on our For International Students page, students at PROMYS need a visitor's visa, not a student visa (F-1). Visas are not required for participation when PROMYS is run online.
  2. PROMYS lectures, discussions, and problem sets are in English; participants should possess English language skills which are strong enough to enable full participation.
  3. The mathematical material that students tackle at PROMYS is very challenging, and participants are expected to enjoy working intensively in mathematics; but students do not need to have taken any advanced or accelerated mathematics courses to thrive at PROMYS.
  4. PROMYS is a co-educational program. Male and female students are supervised and supported by same gender counselors and sleep in gender-separated areas of Boston University campus housing. 
  5. Although the majority of PROMYS students and counselors are from the United States, there are always a number of international students and counselors as well. Over the past 30 years, there have been students and counselors from at least 48 different countries - including many from China. 
  6. Yongren Fellows will be provided with bed linens and towels during the residential program.
  7. Laptops are not needed at PROMYS. Students who wish to do so may use Boston University desktop computers at no charge.
  8. PROMYS students eat their meals in a cafeteria at Boston University. Vegetarian options are always available.
  9. Many domestic students at PROMYS receive full or partial need-based financial aid. Yongren Fellows receive full scholarships.

Yongren Fellows in 2018
Yongren Fellows at PROMYS 2018: (left to right) Professor Li-Mei Lim, Professor Henry Cohn, Zhiyuan Zhou, Zehong Zong, Professor Glenn Stevens and Professor Marjory Baruch

Fellowships in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020

In 2020, PROMYS was delighted to welcome Qianyun Zhou back as a Returning Yongren Fellow in the PROMYS 2020 Bridge Program. 

The 2019 first-year Yongren Fellowship was awarded to Qianyun Zhou, a high school junior from Shenzhen Middle School in Guangdong. The 2018 Yongren Fellowship was awarded to Zhiyuan Zhou, a high school junior from Guangzhou, Guangdong. Zhiyuan is now an undergraduate at Brown University. A second Yongren Fellowship was awarded in 2018 to enable Zehong Zong, the 2017 Yongren Fellow, to return to PROMYS for a second summer of more advanced mathematics. Formerly a student at Zhengzhou Foreign Language School, Zehong is currently an undergraduate at Harvard University.

Qianyun describes her experience at PROMYS 2019

It is hard to explain what PROMYS really is. It is a math camp focused on number theory. But it has so much more beyond that. It is about learning the way of thinking, it is about exploring math on your own, it is about doing math with the friend you just made who comes from all around the world late night in the common room and more beyond that. There isn't a perfect adjective to describe PROMYS, it is just the 'PROMYS'.

Zhiyuan describes his experience at PROMYS 2018

'I learned what true rigor is. In fact, I thought I was pretty rigorous before PROMYS, but i had no idea that I was so wrong."

"I have learned what it means to think like a real mathematician."

"I've really got to experience how different things in math are actually interconnected behind the scene. As Professor Cohn says, math is full of conspiracy theory, and everything is somehow interconnected behind the curtain. The problems sets have led us to discover this for ourselves."

"Thinking deeply about simple things. Simple things may be simple, but there is a lot more to them if we think really hard about them and keep asking questions. It helps us really understand what mathematics is."

"I’ve learned how to explore math on my own. Exploration lab at PROMYS was kind of like my first research opportunity and it turned out to be awesome. I’ve got an idea how to discover the beauty of math by myself." 

"I have done a lot of mathematics activities and none of them are similar to PROMYS. First of all, none of them are as long as PROMYS. I had never had a chance to do nothing but math for 6 weeks. And in my experience, these mathematical activities, usually math Olympiad training, are usually focused on how to solve problems and not on the way we think about questions. They do not require us to think deeply about simple things. And many of the theorems do not require proof, we were just taught the theorems and how to use them. The biggest difference is that we get to explore the world of mathematics by ourselves in PROMYS. In other places, the teachers always teach us how things worked before we get a chance to think about them."

"The idea of rigor also extends beyond the world of mathematics and benefits me in life. I think that I have become more careful and more observant in life thanks to the training I had in PROMYS."

"I got the chance to stay in a diverse community. everyone was super nice and extremely smart. They are all very passionate about math. And since PROMYS is a diverse community, I’ve got the chance to learn about different cultures and how people study and think about math in different countries."

"The PROMYS community is one of the best I have ever seen. Everyone was just so nice, kind, and sweet. The counselors are just like our friends. It all feels like a big family to me. It made me feel welcomed and loved in a foreign land. It made me feel at home. Of course I'm going to keep in touch with people from PROMYS. I've made some of my best friends here."

"Time management: PROMYS is mostly about math, but it’s much more. I got to do many things every day: working on parts, asking myself and thinking about deep math questions, exercise to stay healthy, talking to different counselors to learn about their experiences and their universities, playing with friends. I got the opportunity to learn to balance my time between all these activities."

"My experience here is that PROMYS turned out to be the best summer of my life."

Zehong describes his experience at PROMYS 2017

“PROMYS is a place where you experience math and understand the elegance hiding behind patterns. The problem sets are arranged in such a good way that students have chance to discover all the theorems themselves. It's a new way of learning mathematics that was not focused on memorizing facts but on exploration and discovery. I appreciate the opportunity offered by Yongren Fellowship. It allowed me to pursue further math where my interests lie in. And PROMYS now gives me a new reason to wish that summer never ended.”

“I attended a math camp in China before. But it's competition-oriented, so in order to maximize the achievement, we don't really have time to think about what we are doing. PROMYS is a kind of program that gives us opportunity to think about the reason behind what we are doing. I would say PROMYS offers a more fascinating way to learn math.”

“Exploration labs enable us to think like a mathematician, and I believe it goes a long way in our path toward being a researcher.” 

“Other than mathematics, I have made a lot of friends who have given me a new reason to wish that summer never ended. Everyone at PROMYS was so different yet so similar: we all had diverse backgrounds yet we all loved mathematics just as much as each other. I am pretty sure that these funny and brilliant guys will be my friends for life.”

“The PROMYS community has been a great help for me. As a non-native speaker, I find it is a welcoming society that I can fit into easily despite of the difference of culture."


Please Explore the PROMYS Site. The following pages may be of particular interest:

Overview of the Program
Program Goals
A Typical Day
Frequently Asked Questions - Read about community activities, safety procedures, alum involvement and more.
Testimonials - Read what other students have to say about their experiences at PROMYS
Faculty - Read about the faculty and the PROMYS community
About our Alumni - Read about the 1,729 students and counselors who have attended PROMYS since 1989 and some of their educational and career achievements.
For International Students

Here is a video of the PROMYS program filmed during PROMYS 2013 and during the 25th Summer of PROMYS Celebration, July 5-7, 2013.

Zehong Zong with Professor Stevens in 2017
Zehong speaking with Professor Stevens at PROMYS 2017

Zhiyuan Zhou with Glenn Stevens in 2018
Zhiyuan talking with Professor Stevens after morning lecture in 2018

Yongren Fellow in 2019
Qianyun receiving her yearbook and certificate from Professors Glenn Stevens and Li-Mei Lim at the end of PROMYS 2019