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Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics

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The Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics (HCSSiM) is an American residential program for mathematically talented high school students. The program has been conducted each summer since 1971, with the exceptions of 1981 and 1996, and has more than 1500 alumni.[1][2] Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Summer Studies ran online for a shortened program of four weeks.

The program was created by and is still headed by David Kelly, a professor emeritus of mathematics at Hampshire College.


The program is housed at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and generally runs for six weeks from early July until mid-August. The program itself consists of lectures, study sessions, math workshops (general-knowledge classes), maxi-courses (three-week classes run by the senior staff members), and mini-courses (specialized shorter classes).

On a typical day, students spend four hours in the morning in class, have lunch together with the faculty, and then have several hours to use at their leisure. During this "down time" students and faculty members often host quasis, where they participate in an activity as a small group, such as juggling or making sushi. They return for the "Prime Time Theorem" (an hour-long talk on an interesting piece of mathematics given by a faculty member or a visitor), have dinner, and then spend three hours in a problem solving session. One of the instructors blogged the content of her class.[3][4]

Many students go on to professional careers in mathematics. An occasional publication[5] has resulted from work done at the program. Well-known alumni of the program include two MacArthur Fellows, Eric Lander and Erik Winfree, as well as Lisa Randall, Dana Randall, and Eugene Volokh.[6] Many alumni return to the campus for a few days around Yellow Pig's Day (July 17) of each year. This observance was formalized for 2006 in "Yellow Pig Math Days," which was conducted in observance of 2006 being the 34th offering of the HCSSiM Program (34 being a multiple of 17).

The Summer Studies has been funded in the past by the American Mathematical Society[7] and the U.S. National Science Foundation.[8]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "HCSSiM home page, Frequently and Less Frequently Asked Questions with Frequent Answers". Archived from the original on 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  2. ^ Haight, Laura A. (1982-02-05). "Hamming It Up At Hampshire: Mathematics Gone Hogwild". Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  3. ^ "HCSSiM 2012 Blog, Day 1". 3 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
  4. ^ "HCSSiM 2012 Blog, Day 17". Retrieved 2013-07-17.
  5. ^ For instance, Joel Auslander; Arthur T. Benjamin; Daniel Shawcross Wilkerson (1993). "Optimal leapfrogging" (PDF). Mathematics Magazine. Vol. 66, no. 1. pp. 14–19. doi:10.2307/2690465. JSTOR 2690465.
  6. ^ "HCSSiM About our alumni". Archived from the original on 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2013-07-17.
  7. ^ Jackson, Allyn (November 2003). "Supporting a National Treasure" (PDF). Notices of the American Mathematical Society. 50 (10): 1221. Retrieved 2007-03-04.
  8. ^ HCSSiM received funding under the Young Scholars Program (YSP) of the Division of Research on Learning (DRL) of the NSF. The grant award numbers were 8855094, 9055090, 9256071, and 9452685.
  9. ^ "HCSSiM About our alumni". Archived from the original on 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2008-05-03.

External links[edit]