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The College of Arts Sciences

Opportunities for K-12 Students

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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. It is currently funded by the Mathematics Department and the Center for Applied Mathematics.

(See recent coverage n 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 Explorer's Club (MEC) consists of a sequence of lessons, led by graduate students and facilitated by undergraduate students, 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.

We implement one or two Math Explorer's Club modules on the Cornell campus each semester.  Students can expect interactive lessons taught in a cooperative and supportive learning environment = lots of fun!

See recent coverage in the Cornell Chronicle.

Next Offering:  October 20 & 27, 2018

Topic:  Mathematical Induction

Description:  Suppose a statement says something about infinitely many things; e.g., any even number squared is divisible by 4. How do you prove such statements are true for all cases, without checking all of the cases? Come to the Math Explorer’s Club to learn about induction while playing games and thinking about paradoxes!

About the Instructor:  I am originally from India and a 4thyear PhD student working in the field of number theory. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to study at Cornell University, and I hope that some day I can leave my footprints in the vast landscape of mathematics.

Registration (deadline October 17, 2018)

Previous Offerings

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

For more information about Math Explorer's Club, contact Mary Ann Huntley.

Math Clubs & Circles (Grades K-12)

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.  Girls' Math Circle is divided into three groupings:

  1. Maria Agnesi Cohort (upper elementary)
  2. Ada Lovelace Cohort (middle)
  3. Maryam Mirzakhani Cohort (senior)

If you are a teacher, school administrator, or parent who is interested in starting a club, contact Mary Ann Huntley.

If you are a student who is interested in joining a math club, more information is provided in the table below.




Contact Person

Little Circle K-2 Tu 5:30-7 pm
(not accepting additional students at this time)
Dr. Inna Zakharevich

Belle Sherman Elementary School Math Club


Th 2-3 pm

Dr. Doug McKee

Cayuga Heights Elementary School Math Olympiad Club



Gr. 4: Wed. 2-3 pm

Gr. 5:  Th 2:05-3:05

Gr. 4:  Dr. Adrian Lewis

Gr. 5:  Dr. Marianella Casasola

Northeast Elementary School Math Circle 4-5 W, Th, F 2-3 pm Ms. Eglantina Lucio-Belbase
South Hill Elementary School Math Hawks 4-5 Tu 2:10-3 pm Dr. Henrik Spoon
Boynton Middle School Math Club 6-8 Th 3:30-4:45 pm Dr. Tom Fisher-York
DeWitt Middle School Math Club 6-8 Day TBD 3:30-4:45 pm Dr. Xiaodong Cao
Girls' Math Circle at Cornell 5-12 Sat. evenings & Sun. afternoons Dr. Laura Jones



Math Tutoring

Mary Ann Huntley organizes mathematics tutoring at local schools, community centers, and other sites around the region. Tutoring takes place in a variety of formats (e.g., in-class tutoring, after-school tutoring, one-on-one). Volunteer (unpaid) tutors include undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty.  Please contact Mary Ann Huntley for more information.

Melissa Totman maintains a list of people who are interested in offering private mathematics tutoring for an hourly rate. Tutors arrange their own schedules and negotiate rates directly with families.  Please contact Melissa Totman for more information.

GAIM: Girls' Activities in Math (Grades 3-8 girls)

Girls' Adventures in Math (GAIM) is a themed math competition for upper elementary and middle school girls, followed by strategy-based games. 

The day begins with a 60-minute, 16-question Round 1 and a 20 minute research question Round 2, followed by an afternoon of strategy games.  Teams of four students from the same school compete in one of two divisions: Upper Elementary, for grades 3-5, and Middle, for grades 6-8.

We expect to host GAIM in Spring 2019 on Sunday, April 28, 2019.  More information will be forthcoming.

See recent coverage in the Cornell Chronicle.

Math Discovery Workshops (Grades 2-5)

Hands-on activities that engage students in mathematics.

  • Gr. 2:  Who is bigger, you or your shadow?
  • Gr. 3:  Shapes and numbers, including figuring out the number of dots in various triangles, finding primes, and verifying Goldbach's Conjecture up to 38
  • Gr. 4:  Building tetrahedon, cube, and octahedon, and discovering Euler's formula
  • Gr. 5:  Probability and statistics of rolling 1, 2, and 4 number cubes

More information will be forthcoming.

Family Mathematics Program (Grades 7-10)

Together with Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth (CTY), the Cornell Mathematics Department and Center for Applied Mathematics sometimes hosts an all-day mathematics program for students in grades 7-10 and their parents/caregivers.  It is the philosophy of the program that the family relationship is critical in nurturing the potential of students, so it is a program requirement that each student be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

The 11-11-18 offering has been cancelled.  The next offering has not yet been scheduled.

Mathematics Competitions (Grades 9-12)

The Cornell Mathematics Department supports local students in a variety of math competitions. Oftentimes graduate students coach the students in preparing for the competitions. In February, the Mathematics Department often hosts the American Mathematics Contents (AMC) 10B and 12B sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America.

E-Newsletter for Parents/Guardians/Students

Mary Ann Huntley maintains an electronic mailing list for disseminating information to parents, guardians, and students about upcoming mathematics education events at Cornell, opportunities for students in grades K-12, and other news related to mathematics education. To be added to the electronic mailing list, please e-mail your contact information to Mary Ann.