Programs

The Initiative runs several programs to promote mathematical problem-solving for middle and high school students.

Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM) asks the question, "what does it really take for students to succeed in science, mathematics, engineering, or programming?" and then, "how can we help underserved students access those resources?" Students begin the summer after 7th grade by attending a free residential summer program held at one of our two sites, Bard College and Siena College. Following the summer, students receive academic advising to help them and their families find the best educational opportunities, and also gain access to a wealth of enrichment activities to support their learning.

BEAM brings together top instructors from across the country to teach advanced mathematics and build abstract thinking skills. Students choose from courses on topics such as graph theory, number theory, and combinatorics, as well as applied courses such as programming and astrophysics. A key element of the program is student choice, and students are invited to take the courses that most interest them.

The program (originally called the Summer Program in Mathematical Problem Solving) first ran in 2011 at Bard College with 17 students, more than doubled to 40 students in 2012, and grew to 80 students in 2014 with the addition of a second campus at Siena College. Students have gone on from the program to attend selective high schools such as Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, and Bard High School Early College. They have also attended summer programs such as the Center for Talented Youth, MathPath, and the Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp at Texas State University.

The USA Mathematical Talent Search (USAMTS) is a free mathematics competition open to all United States middle and high school students.

The competition consists of 3 rounds of 5 problems. Students have approximately one month to work on each round and must provide carefully written justifications of their answers. The contest promotes mathematical writing and deep thinking about difficult problems.

The goal of the USAMTS is to help all students develop their problem solving skills, improve their technical writing abilities, and mature mathematically while having fun.