PRIMES-USA is a new pilot section of PRIMES open to high school juniors (or home schooled students of the same age) from across the United States. The students will work on original research projects in mathematics provided by MIT faculty. Projects will be mentored by MIT graduate students via the Internet, using software and hardware tools for online collaboration. Download PRIMES-USA flyer.
- Phase I, January 1 - 31. 2013:
Reading period. In early January you will be assigned a research project and a mentor. The mentor will recommend background reading necessary for your project. You will conduct the reading independently in consultation with your mentor.
- Phase II, February 1 - May 31:
Active research period. You will discuss your project with your MIT mentor via telecommunication channels twice a week for one hour. The day/time of your telecon session will be chosen to suit both you and your mentor. You will be expected to spend at least 10 hours per week working on your project. You will be encouraged to visit MIT for face-to-face meetings several times, depending on your distance from Boston. PRIMES-USA will provide a modest travel subsidy.
- May 18-19, 2013:
Annual PRIMES conference at MIT. You will travel to MIT to present your intermediate results at the annual PRIMES conference. An interim research report is due one week before the conference. Presentation abstracts and slides will be posted on the PRIMES website for free public access.
- Phase III, June 1 - August 31:
Independent research period. You will continue working on your project independently, staying in e-mail contact with your mentor. PRIMES-USA has a flexible schedule in the summer, allowing students to participate in other summer programs.
- Phase IV, September 1 - December 31:
Write-up period. You will complete your project and write a final paper summarizing your results. This paper may be submitted to national science competitions for high school students and/or sent to peer-reviewed academic research journals for publication. A penultimate version of the final research paper is due November 30, 2013; the final version is due December 31, 2013.
Applicants must have access to a personal computer with administrator privileges, a webcam, and high-speed Internet access.
In the fall of 2012 PRIMES-USA will admit 5 students. The students will be selected on the basis of their demonstrated extraordinary mathematical ability, potential for conducting original research, and self-motivation for independent study.
Currently PRIMES-USA accepts application for the mathematics track only. It does not accept applications for the computer science or computational biology tracks.
With only 5 slots available in the nationwide PRIMES-USA program, we expect the competition to be very intense. Students residing within driving distance from Boston should apply to the main section of PRIMES, in which we expect less competition. One may not apply to both PRIMES and PRIMES-USA at the same time.
Women, underrepresented minorities, and students with economically disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
For application procedures, see How to Apply to PRIMES-USA page.
The deadline for applications for the 2013 cycle has passed.
Admission decisions will be made by the end of December 2012.
To apply for the 2014 cycle, check this website in September 2013.
There is no application fee.
PRIMES-USA Program Coordinator Dr. Benjamin Elias may be contacted by email at