Research in Pairs at Mathcamp

Modern research mathematics is moving steadily in the direction of more collaboration. The stereotypical mathematician may be a solo thinker, waiting for inspiration to strike, but in fact pairs and small teams of researchers are becoming the norm. The Research in Pairs (RiP) program at the Oberwolfach Institute in Germany is one of several established models that seek to support collaboration by supporting joint stays.

At Mathcamp, we have implemented an Oberwolfach-style Research in Pairs program in a novel setting: a nationally recognized five-week summer program for mathematically talented high school students!

Created with the support of a grant from the National Science Foundation, the Research in Pairs program at Mathcamp hosts by pairs of mathematical collaborators. These visitors work on research during their stay, as well as teaching a companion course, with the goal of making the production of new mathematics visible to our students. We encourage mathematical interactions between the campers and the research visitors, both inside and outside of class.

Over 100 high school students will be exposed to research in progress every summer through this new program. A smaller group of students will be systematically introduced to brand-new mathematics in the companion course.

Research in Pairs at Mathcamp (RIPM) provides a unique mentoring experience for the visiting researchers. More importantly, students at Mathcamp gain an early window into the practice of doing mathematics research. The pipeline to careers in the mathematical sciences loses talented students partly because so few can imagine themselves as creative, contributing mathematicians. RIPM introduces talented teenagers to role models who can both show them what research looks like and discuss its daily rewards and challenges.

Read about our previous RIPM mathematicians.

Mathematicians: Interested in coming to Mathcamp in a Research Pair?

We are looking for collaborators who meet the following criteria:

  1. Aspects of your work are accessible to high school students (with a little poetic license if necessary);
  2. You're comfortable with high school students and willing to try "fishbowl research" - working in public and letting people peek in at the process;
  3. You're interested in giving a colloquium and a short course (3-5 days at one hour per day) on some math that is suitable for the students and loosely related to your joint work;
  4. You're willing to seek out students and actively try to engage them in your interests.

If this sounds like you, get in touch!

Acknowledgements

This program was supported by NSF grant DMS-1242617 in 2012 - 2015.