Monday, February 8, 2016

MathILy: Serious mathematics infused with levity

sarah-marie belcastro, who spent many years teaching at and later co-directing HCSSiM, founded her own math summer program, called MathILy, in 2013.  MathILy is all about "serious mathematics infused with levity". It's five weeks long, aimed at high school students, and located at Bryn Mawr College.  According to the website: 
The weeks break down into a 2-1-2 schedule: We start with two weeks of Root Class, which consists of a gallimaufry and melange of mathematics that gives all students a base on which to grow. This is followed by Week of Chaos, in which there are many many short classes with topics suggested by students and instructors alike. The denouement of the program offers more advanced Branch Classes in the final two weeks.
The classes are all taught using inquiry based learning, which means that the instructor is more of a facilitator, and the students are up at the board asking questions, making definitions and conjectures, and coming up with proofs.  This is one of the things that sets MathILy apart from other programs. It also has a lot of silliness (for example, take a look at the website for the "alter ego program" MathIGy).

I know sarah-marie and Tom (the other lead instructor) from when I was a student at HCSSiM, and therefore can comfortably recommend the program without having attended myself.

There's also MathILy-Er, which is like MathILy, but "adapted for students who are slightly earlier in their chronology or mathematical development".  There's a single application process for both

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