I just heard from Steve Maurer, the academic director of MathPath, a summer math program for middle school students. His program has run since 2002, and the math instructors are something of a dream team, featuring some famous mathematical names such as John Horton Conway (well-known genius mathematician), Titu Andreescu (who runs the American Math Competitions) and Sam Vandervelde (author of Circle in a Box).

This program seems ideal for middle school students who are already budding mathematicians. They’ve previously recruited students who have done well at math competitions, but are now making a concerted effort to reach out to math circle participants who are motivated by the excitement of mathematics itself. I hope this new effort succeeds! Teachers and math circle organizers: please send some great students towards MathPath!

Another really interesting summer math program for middle school students that I’m in contact with is brand new this year, the Summer Program in Mathematical Problem Solving (SPMPS). This program also has ties to the high school level Canada USA Mathcamp (http://www.mathcamp.org/) but its target audience is quite different: underserved New York City middle school students with talent in math. One goal is to set these students on their own math path and to open up access for them to the wealth of high school math programs enjoyed by students at more privileged schools. I wonder how many mathematicians will eventually come out of SPMPS?

I’ve been helping the director of SPMPS, Dan Zaharopol, to network with underserved middle schools in NYC, and he’s off to an exciting start. Dan has sponsorship from the Art of Problem Solving Foundation to start his program at Bard College this summer. It promises to be a great program, and I wish him luck!

Summer Program in Mathematical Problem Solving

UR: http://www.artofproblemsolving.org/spmps/

Dates: Monday, July 11 to Monday, August 1

Location: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

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