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Virtual Summer (and Spring) 2021

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While schools are opening, the outlook for summer programs still looks virtual. While that’s disappointing for all of us who have been stuck at home, the good news is it does make national summer programs accessible–along with some spring programs as well.

1. Consider registering for the National Math Festival which will run April 16th-18th. It’s a chance for kids of all ages to interact with the world’s most interesting mathematicians!

2. The Museum of Math’s Summer Programs will be held from June 28th to September 3rd. You can sign up by the week (sessions are 9AM-3PM eastern, aka 8AM-2PM Central time), and they have programs for students in three grade bands–rising 1st-3rd, 4th-6th, or 7th-9th.

3. Wolfram produces the ultimate math software, Mathematica. For many years Wolfram has supported MC2’s Annual Symposium, QED.

The week of June 14th Wolfram’s Middle School Summer Camp is open to middle school girls ages 11-14. Admissions are on a rolling basis, so apply soon! Participating students will learn to think computationally in order to address problems in math, the humanities, or whatever is of individual interest. Their high school camp runs from July 1st to the 17th, and mixes, science, math, and technology.

4. The Summer STEM Institute runs for six weeks starting on June 20th. It’s a research and data science boot camp, a lecture series, and mentorship program all rolled up into one. Apply by April 16th; you must be at least 13.

5. High Schoolers, want to learn about Artificial Intelligence? AI Foundry is a 10 week bootcamp led by AI researchers, inspired by Stanford’s AI curriculum. You can learn more about the AI Foundry Program through their website: https://www.thenextepoch.com, and interested students can apply here. You’ll want to hurry, since the program starts on April 10th (application due by 4/4)!

6. Math Circles of Chicago does plan to offer camps for rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, and possibly high school students. We expect our camps to run in July, and expect to make an announcement about the registration process in the next few weeks!

7. To learn about other camps, check out this blog post from last year. 🙂

Finally, teachers, think about applying to the Park City Math Institute. Applications are due by April 5th–it will change your life!

QED 2016: Pursuing Your Own Question

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130 students from all over Chicago turned out for QED 2016. QED is a kind of math festival, with kids posing and answering their own questions. It’s education in it’s purest form. To get a flavor for QED, here’s a list of projects:

Junior Level–5th and 6th grade

  • The Perfect Pool Table: Predicting a Ball’s Path
  • Pokemon Go Pythagorean Theorem
  • Where to Meet to Trick or Treat

Intermediate Level–7th to 9th grade

  • Unattacked Queens
  • Game Theory Through Checkers
  • Five Men, One Monkey
  • City Crime & Safety
  • Algorithm for Recognizing Raga Patterns
  • The Perfect Basketball Shot
  • Bushes, Rupees, and Probability
  • Duck-Duck-DEAD

Senior Level–10th to 12th grade

  • Battlecode
  • Vieta Jumping
  • The Collatz Conjecture in Relation to the Euclidean Algorithm, Fermat’s Last Theorem, Linear Combinations, and Peano Arithmetic
  • Geowrapping
  • Lineup Optimization in Baseball
  • Proving Orientable Surfaces Have Even Euler Characteristic through Graph Theory

The variety of projects was remarkable, and the quality superb. Our judges–PhD students, mathematicians, leading math teachers from CPS, and community members whose work connect to mathematics–were often blown away. More than once I heard something to the effect of, ‘That kid is going to be a mathematician. We need to make sure it happens!’

We owe thanks to our speaker, Eugenia Cheng, and our sponsors, including Citadel and Intel. Our judges also deserve a word of thanks, and last, but far from least, thanks to the sponsoring teachers who supported the students who participated. Check out our photo gallery to get a direct view of QED.

My dream (for the moment) is to have 200 kids attend QED 2017. Let us know if you are interested! qed@mathcirclesofchicago.org.