PRIMES-USA: How to Apply
PRIMES-USA will start accepting applications for the 2014 cycle on September 16, 2013. The applications and letters of recommendation must be received by email by November 15, 2013. Admission decisions will be made by early January 2014.
High school juniors (or home schooled students of the same age) residing in the United States are eligible, if they live no closer than 50 miles from Boston. Students residing within driving distance from Boston should apply to the main section of PRIMES. It is not required but preferable that the applicant meets one of these criteria:
- 2012 USAMO or USAJMO qualifier;
- grade A for a college-level proof-based math course (online courses included);
- a letter of recommendation from a college professor of mathematics.
We suggest a list of recommended readings as a preparation for entering PRIMES-USA and as a background for further research. You may also find it useful to consult last year's PRIMES-USA 2013 problem set and its solutions.
1. A questionnaire with basic personal and background information and a personal statement explaining your interest in PRIMES-USA (see details below).
2. Solutions of the PRIMES-USA 2014 problem set.
3. One or two letters of recommendation.
Directions for submission:
Submit Parts 1 and 2 by email to email@example.com as a single message with the subject line "Application by [your name]." Attach Part 1 to your application email as a PDF file; the name of the attached file must start with your last name, for example, "smith-questionnaire." Attach Part 2 as a separate PDF, entitled "[last name]-solutions"; for example "smith-solutions." We encourage you to apply if you can solve at least 60% of the problems.
Letters of recommendation must be emailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. The letters must be from people who know you well, preferably from those familiar with advanced mathematics, such as math teachers, counselors in math camps, or college professors. Letters must carry the subject line "Recommendation on behalf of [your name]."
2. School, grade.
3. E-mail, address, home/cell phone.
5. Ethnicity (optional). For guidelines how to identify your ethnicity, see this sample.
6. Are you a U.S. citizen or permanent resident? (for information purposes only)
7. Can you commit 10 hours per week to work on your project, including two one-hour telecommunication sessions per week with your mentor in January-May and September-December? Please list the time slots on weekdays or weekends when you would be available for such sessions.
8. Do your parents/guardians approve of your possible participation in PRIMES-USA, including travel to MIT? Please include their names and e-mail addresses.
9. Name(s) and email address(es) of your recommender(s).
10. How did you learn about PRIMES-USA?
1. What is your preferred field of research? Be as specific as you can. You can name several fields in the order of preference, with #1 as your first choice. What do you see as the most interesting questions in these fields?
2. Most advanced math courses taken (with grades).
3. Math books you have read. Which one is your favorite?
4. Your math experience (camps, summer programs, olympiads). Include results/scores if any.
5. Your computer and programming skills and experience.
In a free-format statement (1-2 pages), please expand on the questions from the Background section. For example, discuss some of your most memorable/enjoyable math experiences. What types of problems or math books do you like and why? Explain why you want to participate in PRIMES-USA, what makes you a good candidate, and what are your plans for the future. Feel free to provide any additional information you think might help us get to know you better as a young mathematician.
The deadline for applications and letters of recommendation is November 15, 2013.
Admission decisions will be made by early January 2014.
There is no application fee.
The admission decision will be based on the consideration of all components of your application.
If you are admitted, you will be asked to provide a written permission from your parent/guardian to participate in PRIMES-USA.
With questions, contact PRIMES Program Director Dr. Slava Gerovitch at PrimesUSA@math.mit.edu