Opportunities for K-12 Students

Ithaca High School Math Seminar (Grades 10-12)

The Math Seminar at Ithaca High School provides advanced mathematics instruction for students who have exhausted (or nearly exhausted) the high-school mathematics curriculum. The purpose of the seminar, which meets at the high school during school hours, is to introduce students to topics that they would typically not see until their junior or senior year in college and to encourage more high school students to major in mathematics when they go to college.

Over the course of the academic year, the seminar consists of three graduate students introducing topics related to their research interests and then guiding students in the development of their own end-of-term research projects. While by no means new research, the projects enable the high-school students to explore topics of interest. 

The Math Seminar was developed and conducted for several years with NSF funding. The Cornell University graduate student instructors of the Math Seminar course are funded by the Cornell Department of Mathematics and the Center for Applied Mathematics.  This is a joint outreach activity with Ithaca High School, and as such, a portion of the financial support for Math Seminar is provided by the Ithaca City School District.

See past coverage in the Cornell Chronicle - 2015, 2016.

For more information or questions about the Ithaca High School Math Seminar, please contact Mary Ann Huntley.

Math Explorers' Club (Grades 8-12)

The Math Explorers' Club (MEC) consists of a sequence of lessons, led by graduate students and facilitated by undergraduate students and postdoctoral researchers, that introduce new mathematical concepts and problem-solving strategies to grades 8-12 students.  Lessons are designed to be interactive, providing opportunities for participants to ask and refine questions, develop ideas and definitions, and solve problems cooperatively.  Students are encouraged to share what they have learned with the general public by creating a presentation or poster based on their experience.

The Department of Mathematics generally offers one or two Math Explorers' Club modules on the Cornell campus each semester.  Students can expect interactive lessons taught in a cooperative and supportive learning environment = lots of fun!

Future Math Explorers' Club offerings TBD. For more information, contact Melanie Fraser or Rhiannon Griffiths.

Previous Offerings

Background:  The content that is taught in Math Explorers' Club is based on a collection of modules that was developed by graduate students through support from the National Science Foundation.

Math Clubs & Circles (Grades K-12)

The Department of Mathematics at Cornell University connects K-12 students with several local math clubs and circles.  Some math clubs and circles have been in existence since the 1990s, and others are just being formed.  Underlying each club are the following two goals:  to stimulate students' interest in mathematics, and to develop students' problem-solving skills.  At some sites, students engage in recreational mathematics; at others, students are coached for math competitions, such as AMC8, Math Counts, and MOEMS (Math Olympiad for Elementary and Middle Schools).

The Girls' Math Circle at Cornell offers girls a fun, intimate, and socially comfortable environment to explore mathematics, and building math competence with other like-minded girls.  Preparing for math competitions is one focus of the weekly meetings.  

For information about Little Circle for grades K-5, contact Inna Zakharevich or go to The Little Circle. (Exact age range will vary based on interest and instructor availability.)

For Girls' Math Circles for grades 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12, contact Eglantina Lucio-Belbase, Melanie Fraser, Rhiannon Griffiths, & Laura Jones. Topics will be assigned to a circle based on each group's makeup in a given year.

If you are a teacher, school administrator, parent interested in starting a club, or student interested in joining a club, contact Xiaodong Cao. While the Cornell Math Department provides information about current math clubs, these clubs are administered by their respective Ithaca schools.

Math Tutoring

Mary Ann Huntley organizes mathematics tutoring at local schools, community centers, and other sites around the region. Volunteer (unpaid) tutors include undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty.  Please contact her if:  (a) you are a Cornell University student or faculty member and would like to be a volunteer tutor, or (b) you are a teacher and would like to discuss having one or more mathematics tutors to assist during classroom instruction or during after school hours.

Heather Peterson maintains a list of Cornell University students who are interested in serving as private math tutors.  Please understand that neither Cornell University nor the Department of Mathematics makes any representations as to the suitability of these potential private tutors.  Anyone wishing to engage these students as tutors, particularly for underaged tutees, is solely responsible for all screening of candidates and hiring decisions, and should not interpret our linking you with potential tutors as an endorsement of the tutors.  To request a tutor, please complete the Request Form.

Mathematics Competitions (Grades 7-12)

The Cornell Mathematics Department supports local students in a variety of math competitions, for example, the CUBRMC and the AMC 10B/12B and AMC 8, etc.  Faculty and graduate students are involved in coaching the students in preparing for the competitions. Contact Xiaodong Cao for more information.

Discrete Mathematical Explorations (DIMEX)

As part of her NSF-funded CAREER grant, Dr. Karola Mészáros is working with grades 5-8 students on discrete mathematical structures, which are at the heart of many modern disciplines, including computer science. 

Funding provided by NSF Grant #1847284


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