PROMYS Foundation

PROMYS Offshoots

The original PROMYS program at Boston University has been influential in the development of several other significant initiatives in math education. Central to the PROMYS family of programs are the goals:

  1. To provide an environment for talented young people that will arouse their curiosity and encourage a deep personal involvement with the creative and collaborative elements of mathematics and science.
  2. To encourage habits of thought that will lead to scientific independence and creativity.
  3. To foster interaction between the PROMYS community and the larger community of research mathematicians and scientists currently working in academia and industry.
  4. To abide by the principle that no student should be unable to attend for financial reasons.

PROMYS India

PROMYS India is the newest venture for the PROMYS Foundation. It is an offshoot PROMYS program for students in India. It will run at Ashoka University in Sonepat, Haryana (outside of New Delhi) from May 24 – July 4, 2020 and is closely modeled on PROMYS at Boston University. As such, the program will include daily number theory lectures, challenging problem sets, advanced seminars, exploration and research labs, guest lectures, mini-courses, and mandatory fun. In addition, students at PROMYS India are selected based on their readiness to delve deeply into mathematics, as demonstrated in large part by their work on a set of challenging application problems. Prof. Ila Varma (alum and trustee) will serve as founding director of PROMYS India.

The participation of the Mehta Fellows (see below) was fully funded thanks to the generosity and vision of Nicholas Nash, Avi and Sandra Nash, Phalgun Raju, the Indira Foundation and Morph.org who are also the founding sponsors for PROMYS India. Their anchor funding enables the 2020 program to be free for participants. All students in 2020 will receive a full scholarship covering all costs of participation: tuition, hostel, meals, books, and travel.

With fundraising efforts, the hope is that participation in the new program will remain free in 2021 and beyond. Donate here!

Pilot Program for PROMYS India

Between 2015 and 2019, the Mehta Fellowships to PROMYS program brought mathematically talented students from India to PROMYS at Boston University. Selected each year from very large and impressive applicant pools, the Mehta Fellows grew in number from 2015, when there were two, to 2019, when there were fifteen: ten students and five counselors. Deeply familiar with the PROMYS approach to engaging in mathematics, Mehta Fellowship alumni will be the returning students and counselors at PROMYS India 2020.

PROMYS Math Circle

PROMYS Math Circle (PMC) was launched in 2016, as part of enhanced efforts by PROMYS to reach out to mathematically talented students in Massachusetts, particularly those from low-income backgrounds and underrepresented in STEM. We asked PROMYS for Teachers (PfT) alumni and other outreach contacts to help us identify students who demonstrated mathematical talent and interest, and who might or might not be ready to participate in a mathematics summer program as rigorous as PROMYS. During the 2019-2020 school year, PROMYS is running eight math circles (7 in-school and 1 virtual), engaging more than 90 students in fun and challenging mathematics. In addition, several PMC students each year are accepted to the PROMYS summer program where they thrive.

We hope PMC will be a long-term initiative which will continue to interact with teachers and their students for the foreseeable future. Donate here!

PMC’s pilot year was separately funded thanks to the generosity of the Linde Family Foundation. This same Massachusetts-based foundation has now renewed funding for another two years. PMC is the recipient of a MAA Tensor Women and Mathematics Program grant to support additional activities for girls during the 2018-2019 school year, which has been renewed for 2019-2020. Recently, we received additional funding from the Irving Foundation.

PROMYS Europe

PROMYS Europe is a partnership of PROMYS, Wadham College and the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford, and the Clay Mathematics Institute. Since 2015, competitively selected pre-university students from around Europe gather at Wadham College, Oxford for six weeks of rigorous mathematical activity. PROMYS Europe is closely modeled on PROMYS at Boston University. Like its parent program, PROMYS Europe is dedicated to the principle that no one should be unable to attend for financial reasons.

The full program ran for the first time at the University of Oxford from July 12 to August 22, 2015. There were twelve first-year students, four returning students, who were CMI-PROMYS Scholars from 2014, and five European counselors. The founding director of PROMYS Europe is Prof. Glenn Stevens (trustee), who shares the teaching of the daily Number Theory lectures with Dr. Henry Cohn (alum and trustee).

The idea for the European program took shape after the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) organized the CMI-PROMYS Oxford Workshop on The Development of Exceptional Talent in Mathematics at the University of Oxford in 2013. PROMYS and CMI invited to the workshop leading mathematicians engaged in developing the mathematical talent of secondary school students in Europe. There was a very fruitful exchange of ideas and pedagogical approaches. PROMYS founders, faculty, and alumni presented their vision of extending to Europe the 6-week mathematical immersion students experience at PROMYS; and directors of some of the leading European mathematics programs for secondary school students presented the visions underpinning their programs. PROMYS Europe seeks to work alongside these and other existing European programs to augment the learning experiences available to talented young mathematicians in Europe.

Funding and other resources for PROMYS Europe are provided by Wadham College and the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford, and the Clay Mathematics Institute. PROMYS Europe is also very grateful for further financial support from alumni of the University of Oxford and Wadham College as well as scholarships provided by the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research.

To contribute to PROMYS Europe from outside the U.S., please visit here. The PROMYS Foundation is able to receive tax-deductible donations so that U.S. donors can contribute to PROMYS Europe. If you are from the U.S., donate here!

CMI-PROMYS Scholarships and the Oxford Masterclasses

In 2013 and 2014, the CMI-PROMYS International Alliance ran two pilot programs. The pilot programs were the CMI-PROMYS Scholarships and the Oxford Masterclasses. Thanks in large part to the highly enthusiastic recruitment efforts of PROMYS alumni in Europe, applicant pools for the CMI-PROMYS Scholarships were large, eager, mathematically impressive, and from all over Europe. Finalists for the Scholarships were interviewed by PROMYS alumni in Europe. In 2013 and 2014, the Alliance provided scholarships to a total of 24 CMI-PROMYS Scholars from 11 European countries, carefully selected from hundreds of applications received from 30 European countries. At no cost to the students or their families, these Scholars participated in the six weeks of PROMYS at Boston University followed by participation in the one-week Oxford Masterclasses at Oxford University. The scholarships included roundtrip flights, tuition, and full room and board. The Scholarship program was very successful: the CMI-PROMYS Scholars were mathematically very strong, they really enjoyed their summers at PROMYS, and they learned a great deal both about mathematics and about new ways to learn mathematics.

In 2014, in addition to the new CMI-PROMYS Scholars, four of the 2013 CMI-PROMYS Scholars were invited to return to PROMYS and to the Oxford Masterclasses: three as returning students and one as a counselor. The CMI-PROMYS Scholarships and the Oxford Masterclasses established a core of eager and talented young European mathematicians with experience of PROMYS habits of mathematical discovery.