Updates about Mathcamp 2023

Mathcamp 2023 was our second residential summer since returning to in-person programming in the Covid era, and we finally made our way to Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. This location was a highly-anticipated site for camp: not only have we been in dialogue with the campus since 2008 (!), but it was originally slated to be our site in 2020. At long last, Champlain College became a summer home for 33 staffs, 121 students, and dozens of veteran visitors, and lots of visitors and guest speakers.

Fast Facts

We brought 121 students to Mathcamp this summer. There were 54 girls, 63 boys, and 4 non-binary students. They came from 24 US states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 11 other countries around the world: Aruba, Azerbaijan, Belgium, China, England, Georgia, India, Poland, South Korea, Spain, and Vietnam.

Group picture of the Mathcamp 2023 participants

We did so much math!

This summer, we ran 143 classes taught by 50 different instructors (including four campers!), on topics ranging from "Quiver representations" to "Elliptic curves" to "Infinite Ramsey theory." Students also had an option to work on an individual or small-group project, on which topics ranged from "Mathematical engineering with Arduino" to "Quantum groups and crystal bases" to "Multiplayer combinatorial games." Read the schedule and descriptions here.

 Not only did I learn more than I imagined academically, but I also returned home with a renewed motivation to learn and explore. 

Photo of origami from the Mathcamp 2023 lounge

We had so much fun!

The dorm at Mathcamp remains a hub of activity, filled with mathematical crafts, ping-pong, and—in an especially impressive feat this year—an arduino-powered blue tape spiderweb. Last year's return to a residential format saw a renaissance of cooking and baking activities, and they remained tremendously popular this year, benefitting from a solid kitchen right by the Main Lounge. Champlain College's location by downtown Burlington is a tremendous perk, and our campers took full advantage of the setting, exploring the town, getting ice cream, or walking by picturesque Lake Champlain. And as always, we went on field trips every weekend; solved puzzles during a day-long puzzle hunt; solved math problems at weekly relays; and created a beautiful yearbook.

Photo of our last day at Mathcamp 2023

We grappled with important questions, together.

Each year, we talk as a community about the issues that our campers are facing, sharing data and staff stories while placing students' experiences in their home communities and at Mathcamp at the center of the conversation. This year's workshops addressed the Impostor Phenomenon; Gender and Math; Sustaining your love of math (and how to combat burnout); and the perennial favorite: "The Future of You," talking about life after Mathcamp (in high school, college, and beyond). The workshops combine opportunities for sharing stories about external factors like discrimination and microaggressions; internal reflections on factors like imposter syndrome and unhelpful core beliefs; connecting to others around how to seek support and find community in math; and allyship: how to support other people in math. The cumulative effect of these many small steps is a meaningful sense of safety and openness at camp.

Photo of students and staff at the Future of You discussion

 One thing about Mathcamp that I didn't appreciate fully until now was the wealth of people -- campers and staff alike -- around who are incredibly knowledgeable about so many different things and who are so willing to talk to you. I've learned so much about math and also about life just through the conversations I've had outside of the academic day, and I think this might be a characteristic of Mathcamp you won't be able to find in other places. 

Our students, once again, built an amazing community. (And we're delighted that many of them are planning to return to camp!) One of our campers said: “The culture and spirit of Mathcamp, along with the staff and campers that carry it, honestly teaches you so much. At an event I was told as advice for when I go to university, to look for Mathcamp people. Not necessarily actual campers, but people with that same spirirt. And that is exactly what I'll be trying to do through my life.”

Thank you for supporting us this past year. Our community of donors helped us to bring together 121 incredible students and 33 wonderful staffs for 5 amazing weeks at Mathcamp 2023. We truly appreciate you!