MIT PRIMES is a year-long program, in which high school students work on individual and group research projects and participate in reading groups under the guidance of academic mentors, usually graduate students or postdoctoral scholars. MIT PRIMES includes three sections:
The program operates throughout the calendar year in four distinct phases:
The Math section includes a research track and a reading group track.
Participation in the research track will require very advanced mathematical background. Participation in a reading group would serve as an excellent preparation for future research at PRIMES and beyond.
Reading mathematical literature is a vital part of professional life of any mathematician. It is of key importance at all ages, but especially so for students. For many students, guided reading proves more intellectually stimulating and beneficial than an immediate plunge into research. Devoting your first year at PRIMES to guided reading would build a solid foundation for attacking a challenging research problem the following year.
A PRIMES reading group is a pair of high school students who actively study an advanced mathematical book under the guidance of a mentor, with whom they meet weekly at MIT (for about 2 hours) in the spring and fall semesters. In between meetings, they read assigned chapters, solve homework problems, and discuss the material with each other and with the mentor by e-mail or skype. In December, they make presentations on the material they have studied.
In 2013, we have three reading groups studying the following advanced books, usually assigned to advanced undergraduates and graduate students:
Joseph Gallian, Contemporary Abstract Algebra
Noga Alon and Joel Spencer, The Probabilistic Method
V.B. Alekseev, Abel's Theorem in Problems & Solutions
The reading group track is highly recommended for students who are just entering PRIMES (especially younger students - freshmen and sophomores). It is also highly recommended for seniors, who would be in PRIMES for only half a year before going to college.
When we consider applications, we may decide that a student needs more background before s/he can work on a research project. In this case, we might admit this applicant to the reading group track, if s/he has applied for it. This is why we encourage you to apply to the reading group track, whether or not you also apply to the research track.
PRIMES is a free program. It selects students based on their qualifications and solutions of an entrance problem set. For details, see How to Apply.
With questions, contact PRIMES Program Director Dr. Slava Gerovitch at firstname.lastname@example.org