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 6th grade by attending a free summer day program in either New York City or Los Angeles, and then go on to a residential summer program after 7th grade held at one of our three sites, Bard College, Union College, and a soon-to-be-announced location in Southern California. Following the summer, students receive Saturday enrichment classes 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, and now serves 460 students every summer at programs in New York and California. 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 oldest BEAM students are now in college, where they are majoring in biology, physics, computer science, mathematics, engineering, and many other STEM fields.
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.