PROMYS Europe is a six-week residential summer mathematics programme in Oxford for mathematically ambitious pre-university students who are selected from across Europe. PROMYS Europe is closely modelled on PROMYS at Boston University. PROMYS was founded in 1989 by Professor Glenn Stevens. Professor Stevens also founded PROMYS Europe and is the Director of both programmes.
Eligible Participants: Pre-university students aged at least 16 at the start of the programme who are ordinarily resident in Europe.
Counsellors: Undergraduate students from top mathematics programmes. Counsellors, some of whom are PROMYS Europe alumni, support and mark the work of a small group of students, do their own research, and give and attend lectures.
Faculty and Mentors: Professor Glenn Stevens and Professor Henry Cohn share the teaching of the daily Number Theory lectures. Dr Vicky Neale teaches a course for returning students. There are also research mentors who are professional mathematicians and visiting guest lecturers, who are mathematicians and scientists in academia and industry.
Mathematics at PROMYS Europe:
(1) All first-year students attend a daily lecture but spend the bulk of their time, almost all of which is unstructured, working on their own or collaboratively on carefully crafted and very challenging Number Theory problem sets.
(2) First-year students also engage in open-ended exploratory labs under the guidance of counsellors and faculty, and write up and share their work with the PROMYS Europe community.
(3) Returning students take advanced courses and undetake research projects, mentored by professional mathematicians.They write up their results and present them at the end of the programme.
(4) There are numerous additional maths-related talks by participants and by invited visitors, some of whom are PROMYS alumni.
Guiding Principles of the Programme:
(1) A belief that mathematics is a deeply human activity best experienced within a richly interacting and mutually supportive community of learners including secondary school students, undergraduate and graduate students, and research mathematicians.
(2) An emphasis on mathematical habits of mind that support independence and creativity in facing unfamiliar mathematical challenges.
(3) Students at PROMYS Europe are presented with fundamental mathematical problems for which they have to struggle long and hard to find solutions. The students are given mathematical tools to find the solutions for themselves. They are not at any point given or led to the solutions. For the six weeks of PROMYS Europe, the students are mathematicians.
(4) No student should be unable to attend PROMYS Europe due to financial need.
Funding: Funding and other resources are provided by the partnership. PROMYS Europe is also very grateful for further financial support from alumni of the University of Oxford and Wadham College.
Two participants may be sponsored by the
Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research.
Students and counsellors at PROMYS Europe (photos courtesy of Wadham College)