AoPS Update: News about the Pathway Scholarship Program, National MATHCOUNTS, New Features, and more

May 6, 2019

Pathway Scholarship Program at AoPS Academies

Through support from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, our Pathway Scholarship Program will be in place at even more AoPS Academy campuses in the 2019–2020 school year.

The Pathway Scholarship Program is our effort to help bring high-level math to a more diverse community of students. It’s a need-based, full-tuition scholarship for AoPS Academy math classes that starts in elementary school and runs through grade 8.

Know a student who lives near an Academy and might be a great fit? Applicants can contact us by filling out an admissions application for their local campus and noting that they’re applying for the STEM Pathway Scholarship. Applicants can also reach out to their local campus directly by phone or email with any questions they may have about the scholarship or the admissions process.

MATHCOUNTS Nationals Start Saturday

Students have been through school, chapter, and state rounds of MATHCOUNTS—and now the remaining competitors are headed to Orlando, Florida for the 2019 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition! This year, the National Countdown round is being hosted by Wil Wheaton, and you’ll be able to watch live on on May 13th at 10 am ET.

We’re proud of all the students who have taken part at all levels this spring. But we’re especially excited for the students, coaches, and parents who are headed to Florida!

Will you be there, too? Come find CEO Richard and CFO Dr. Dave, either of whom may be willing to sign your t-shirt (or forehead) if you ask very nicely.

Math as a Tool for Literacy

A microphone at a radio studio

AoPS Chief Communications Officer, Dr. Grayson Maas, will be talking about approaching math as a beautiful, creative discipline on the radio next week. He’ll sit down with Jose Cruz, of the San Diego Council on Literacy, on wsRadio’s Literacy for All show on Tuesday, May 14. Listen to hear about how Beast Academy and Art of Problem Solving teach not only the hows but the whys of mathematics—and why that’s so important!

New Beast Academy Materials

The Beast Academy Team is working hard on different resources to help you use BA books and BA Online with more than just a handful of students at once.

  • We’re preparing sequencing information that should be available in the next couple months. This will help you find exactly which lessons and problems in the Guide and Practice books and in BA Online align with the curricular standards for each grade.
  • Our developers are also hard at work on teacher tools for BA Online that will clearly lay out your students’ performance on each online lesson. We plan to launch these tools by the beginning of the new school year.
  • We’re also creating assessments for each chapter of BA Online. This will make it easier to tell when your student has mastered a particular lesson and is ready to move on.

In other news from Beast Academy world, we’re also dreaming up a new set of books! Before you get your hopes up, these aren’t new grades or new subjects (yet!). Instead, we’re making stand-alone puzzle books! There’ll be a new book for each grade level, full of the same type of puzzles you already know and love from the Practice books and BA Online. These will be a great way to engage students who love brain-teasers and get in some extra math practice at the same time.

AND we’re excited to let you know that we’ve added our first Grade 2 videos to BA Online! There are videos for chapters 1–3, with more to come soon. Check ‘em out!

AoPS Online Classroom Scheduled for a Facelift

We taught about fifteen thousand students online last year! And while our Online classroom won’t run out of space the way a brick-and-mortar school might, we’ve been dreaming up some improvements to the AoPS Online classroom.

The newer, shinier classroom we’re working on will still be text-based—our instructors sometimes hum to themselves while teaching, and we’d hate to distract our students as they’re trying to solve hard problems. (Dr. Jeremy Copeland, in particular, starts humming “Strangers in the Night” when he teaches a particularly tough WOOT class.)

We’re working on designing and building new tools, like buttons and polls and clickable graphics, that will let students interact more during class and provide a wider range of learning avenues. Things might look different a year from now!

Honoring a Math Mentor to Thousands

Back when George Berzsenyi started teaching math at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, he began mentoring talented younger math students—high schoolers—in a way that had been common in his native Hungary.

Not only did Berzsenyi create and edit a math magazine for high school students, he wrote back to the students who sent in their solutions, offering comments and suggestions.

Over his career, Berzsenyi’s mentorship helped shape the next generation of mathematicians. As UC San Diego math professor Kiran Kedlaya says, “It’s hard to find somebody who is that passionate about discovering the future generation of talent in any field, but particularly in mathematics.”

Read more reflections on this giant of math teaching here.

AoPS Founder Richard Rusczyk observes that he likes Berzsenyi’s taste in problems, saying “the year I earned a perfect score on the AIME, he had written most of the test himself.”

Classes Starting Soon

Looking for a math course for the summer? Several classes start in the next two weeks, including:

Prealgebra 1, Fridays (May 17–August 30)

Intro to Algebra A, Wednesdays (May 15–August 28)

Intro to Number Theory, Thursdays (May 16–August 8)

MATHCOUNTS/AMC Advanced, Thursdays (May 16–August 8)

In addition, our new Prealgebra 1 Self-Paced course opens on June 4. Once they begin the course, students will have 9 months of unlimited access to proceed at their own rate through a series of automated interactive mathematical conversations.

AoPS Academy Summer Classes

For families near Seattle, San Diego, Princeton, NJ, the DC Metro Area, or North Carolina’s Research Triangle who are looking for math and language arts enrichment during the summer, look toward AoPS Academy!

Each academy has its own lineup of two-week courses for students entering grades 3–10. And the courses are tough but fun, from elementary math classes introducing topics like cryptography or graph theory, to creative writing courses and a mock trial class where middle-school students learn formal argument by putting the characters of a novel on trial.

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