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The Ross Program at the Ohio State University is an intensive summer experience. It’s designed to encourage motivated pre-college students to explore mathematics. Over eight weeks, students are immersed in a world of mathematical discovery.
Founded by Dr. Arnold Ross, the multi-level program began at Notre Dame in 1957. Spurred by the launch of the Sputnik satellite, and the subsequent surge of interest in science education, the program has run every summer since then. It was moved to Ohio State in 1964. At this time, the program is also supported by the Clay Mathematics Institute, OSU, and The Epsilon Project of The American Mathematics Society (AMS). .
The central goal of the program is to instruct bright young students in the art of mathematical thinking, as well as to inspire them to discover for themselves the value and importance of abstract ideas. First year participants take the basic course in number theory. For most students, this is the first time they’ve been asked to consider entirely new questions, to develop entirely new methods of thinking, and to justify every answer.
The value: students gain proficiency in computational tasks and build a foundation for critical thinking. Only students who can ask why things work the way they do will be able to lead the way in future scientific innovation. The Ross program strives to nurture precisely this type of questioning and independence of thought.
Who is eligible?
According to the web site — http://www.math.ohio-state.edu/ross/ — ambitious pre-college students with interests in mathematics and science are invited to apply. First year students range in age from 14-18 years of age. Admission decisions are based on several criteria:
- the applicant’s work on some challenging math problems
- essays concerning the applicant’s interests and goals
- teacher recommendations
- school transcripts
Costs and financial aid
The fees for the program are determined entirely by the cost of eight weeks of room and board. For the 2010 session, the fee is $2,500. Some financial aid is available.
Visit the site for more information or to print out a brochure.
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