Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Prove It! Math Academy: A new summer math program focused on the transition from problem to proof

Prove It! Math Academy is a new summer math program held in Colorado.  From their website:
Almost all secondary school and freshman-level undergraduate mathematics classes and many summer camps and online programs are calculation-based — where students perform some sequence of computations to arrive at a numerical answer. At the other end of the spectrum are research competitions and advanced undergraduate level mathematics courses that require the ability to read and write mathematical proofs — objectively verifiable explanations of why a certain mathematical statement must be true. Yet there are very few resources available to help students make the transition from calculation-based problem solving to mathematical proof-based activities.
Prove It! Math Academy is designed to fill this gap - teaching mathematical proof, while also strengthening problem solving skills and providing camaraderie.  Other summer programs, like HCSSiM and PROMYS, do put a lot of emphasis on helping students make this transition, Prove It! Math Academy is the only one I know about that makes it the main focus.

Another unique thing about the program is that it's run by one family (father, mother, daughter, 2 sons, and son-in-law) who all happen to be mathematicians that care a lot about teaching and outreach.  I know many of them well from Lehigh Valley ARML and the Emory REU.

It's a short program - in 2016 it runs July 24 to August 7, and so would be a great choice for students who want to do a summer math program, but don't want it to take up their entire summer.

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