Perspectives from Alumni: Life After Mathcamp

I went to Mathcamp before my senior year in high school. By the end of the four weeks, Mathcamp had erased all doubt in my mind that I wanted to do math for the rest of my life. That summer not only introduced me to beautiful problems in math, but showed me that I could give (if only once in a very great while) beautiful solutions to math. More importantly, during the times that I could offer only ordinary solutions, I still enjoyed pursuing mathematics, and enjoyed talking with other people about what I was doing. Mathcamp reassured me that I was not singular in loving math, and allowed me to meet other people who love math, with whom I still do math with even now, four years later.

Yvonne Lai, MIT

My summer at Mathcamp was one of the best experiences of my life. Almost every aspect of it allowed me to see what a far-reaching subject mathematics is. I particularly liked the fact that we were constantly free to select which classes to attend; I think that this helped to convey the idea that math can be almost anything you want it to be.

Megan Guichard, Caltech

Mathcamp has changed the way I think of math and made the subject a big part of my life. During my summer as a camper, I found that I not only love math for its beauty, but also for the community of people surrounding it. At camp, enjoying math is most important, not aptitude or performance. In that respect, I think Mathcamp is one of the best math communities. I love Mathcamp because of the people embodying it and the knowledge, passion, and opportunities that they have given me.

Dustin Ledbetter, MIT

At Mathcamp, I discovered a warm community of amazing teachers and students who loved math at least as much as I did. The friendships that I made during those five weeks at Mathcamp withstood both the test of nearly three years' time and that of thousands of miles. Mathcamp gave me the inspiration that I needed to continue with math, and the ambition to challenge myself and to apply to the top universities in the country.

Simona Topor Pop, Harvard University

Mathcamp reaffirmed my desire to be a teacher–with the great teaching provided by some of the guest lecturers and the staff. It reminded me of the reason I want to be a teacher: I want other people to see the beauty and elegance and feel the awesomeness of math (just like some of the lecturers and staff made me feel)... Everything seems to fall into the framework created by Mathcamp!

Sameer Shah, MIT

Mathcamp is the one of the most incredible things that could have happened to me. When I received the brochure in the mail four years ago (is it really four years already?) I had no idea, really, what it would be like. "Hey, I like math," I thought, "it sounds like a fun thing to do for a month." Well, it certainly was that, and a whole lot more.

What I got out of Mathcamp was threefold. Firstly, I was exposed to a lot of diverse topics in real mathematics, which the average high school student doesn't even imagine the existence of, and I learned many new techniques for problem solving. Secondly, I learned that there are lots of other people who like math and that it's really fun to do math with them. And thirdly—which isn't specific to math, but may be more important overall—I learned how to be independent and have fun. I think the social atmosphere of Mathcamp is no less important than the mathematical one; college life was much less of a shock to me because I had gone to Mathcamp for three years.

Mike Shulman, University of Chicago