SIMUW Debuted in Summer 2003
The Summer Institute for Mathematics at the University of Washington (SIMUW) is an exciting program for students who have not yet completed their final year of high school. It is funded entirely by a gift from an anonymous couple. The first class of twenty-four enthusiastic, talented students arrived at the campus of the University of Washington on June 22, 2003 for a six-week program of classroom activities, special lectures, field trips, social activities, and intense interaction with faculty, TAs, and fellow students. The two dozen students studied topics ranging from elliptic curves to computer graphics in two-week segments, interspersed with special half-day sessions on topics like Markov chains, knot theory, and the mathematics of movement. They spent four days each week on the two-week topics, and one day on the special sessions; most of this time they worked together and with the staff, grappling with hard mathematical problems. On weekends, there were planned excursions to museums, science labs, and the beach.
Students in the program deepened their understanding and appreciation of many active areas of mathematics. Perhaps the most important aspect of the program was social - friendships and contacts were made that will last long after the final session.
The program was directed by UW faculty members Ron Irving, Sándor Kovács, Paul LePore, and Jim Morrow. In 2003 there were six faculty members from the UW, the University of Chicago, and Microsoft; ten special lecturers from the UW, Microsoft, and the University of British Columbia; and two graduate and five undergraduate teaching assistants.
SIMUW will take place again next summer. Students from Washington, British Columbia, Oregon, Alaska, and Idaho are encouraged to apply for SIMUW 2004.
Information about the 2003 program is available, and details about the 2004 program will soon appear, on the SIMUW website.