Activities at Mathcamp

Mathcamp is constantly abuzz with activities, both scheduled and impromptu. Both staff and students are welcome to post activities on our "schedule board," a central area with posters for everything happening at camp. Thus, in the evenings, you'll be able to choose from posted activities such as singalongs, swing dancing lessons, programming crash courses, baking, improv, play reading, or whatever else you might be interested in doing. After all, if it's not there, you can post it yourself!

There's no way to capture the full energy of Mathcamp on a webpage, but here are a handful of the more familiar (and recurring) activities at camp.

Recurring Traditions

Every year, campers create the Mathcamp yearbook. It's a big undertaking, and students contribute as writers, photographers, editors, and organizers.

Photo of T-Shirts

T-Shirt Design
On the back of each year's Mathcamp t-shirt is a design filled with math. You create the math! Submit cool things you see in your classes, problem sets and projects.

Language Tables
The students and staff at Mathcamp are a polyglot bunch; at meals, we often convene a table devoted to a different language each day; brand-new beginners, active language learners, and native speakers have a mix of conversation and sharing new words. Want to learn Chinese, French, Hebrew, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, or Russian? Join a language table.

Puzzle Hunt
For a full day, teams of eight to ten people work together to solve some incredibly challenging puzzles. These aren't your ordinary Sudoku, though; the puzzles come without instructions, and it's up to you to find the patterns, discover the method, and extract the final answer. That final answer is usually a word or phrase, and then all the puzzle answers together form a new "metapuzzle"! Take a look at some past years' Puzzle Hunts.

Photo of Relays on the Quad

Saturday afternoon Relays
Math Relays are a fun, light-hearted, end-of-the-week activity at Mathcamp, and most of camp participates: it's a chance to run around outside in the sunshine and solve quick math problems. Campers organize themselves into teams of 5-7 people and again opt for "mellow" (we're just here to relax) or "hardcore" (we're in it to win it) and spend an hour solving problems as a team: logic problems, games, 'traditional' contest problems – you name it. (The prize for winning may involve candy.)

The Contrapositones is Mathcamp's choir. We perform a selection of classical pieces, plus the Mathcamp alma mater, Nonabelian (lyrics). Everyone is welcome - no experience necessary!

Photo of the Kernel at Mathcamp 2009

The Kernel is Mathcamp's contemporary a cappella group. We perform pop/rock and nerd rock songs – repertoire has included modern pop; classic rock; Jonathan Coulton, Tom Lehrer, and the classic "Finite Simple Group of Order 2" by the Klein Four Group. Auditions are held in the first week of camp.

Talent Show
The last Friday of camp is our annual talent show, where students and staff can show off their own (and appreciate one another's) non-mathematical accomplishments. The talent show has everything from music and dancing to Rubik's cube solving to mathematical parodies of popular movies.

We avoid boredom like the plague.

The golden rule of Mathcamp is that you should never, ever be bored, and if you are, then we're not doing a good job. Check the schedule board for other activities, or invent your own and post them on the schedule board!