PRIMES: Program for Research in Mathematics, Engineering and Science for High School Students

In mathematics you don't understand things, you just get used to them.
- John von Neumann

PRIMES is a free, year-long after-school research program for  high school students. PRIMES includes three sections: MIT PRIMES, PRIMES-USA, and PRIMES Circle.

MIT PRIMES offers research projects and guided reading to students living within driving distance from Boston. Program participants work with MIT researchers on exciting unsolved problems in mathematics, computer science, and computational biology.

PRIMES-USA is a distance mentoring math research section for high school juniors from across the United States (outside of Greater Boston).

PRIMES Circle is a math enrichment section for sophomores and juniors from public high schools of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville.

Congratulations to the PRIMES-USA student Ritesh Ragavender, the winner of the First Prize in the mathematical sciences and of the Third Special Award from the AMS at 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) !!!



Fourth Annual PRIMES Conference, May 17-18, 2014

Presentation slides are posted online


Message from PRIMES Chief Research Advisor Pavel Etingof

Photo of Pavel Etingof

Welcome to PRIMES!

Mathematics is a unique and wonderful way of life. The goal of PRIMES is to allow high school students to discover the beauty of being a research mathematician, so that more of them choose mathematical research as their profession. In this program you will learn, through a first-hand experience, how mathematicians ask and answer questions, look for patterns and form conjectures, discuss their work and collaborate with each other, read and write mathematical texts, make and correct mistakes, feel frustrated and elated, give talks, and use sophisticated computer systems. You will also be able to discover how mathematics can be applied to real life problems, for example, in molecular biology (in particular, in cancer research). And hopefully you will experience the unforgettable thrill of proving a new theorem or solving a previously unsolved problem! This will develop into a lifelong passion for mathematics. I promise.

We look forward to receiving your application!

For more detail, see

Q&A with the Chief Research Advisor

How to Succeed in Mathematical Research

World-class research in the 10th grade (MIT News Office)

MIT PRIMES: Priming Talented Teens (Integral 2011, MIT Math Department Newsletter)


PRIMES opens a new math enrichment section, PRIMES Circle, dedicated to serving students from urban public high schools of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville


See welcome message from PRIMES Circle Program Coordinator, Dr. Chelsea Walton



PRIMES is sponsored by:



To sustain PRIMES, we need your help! Please choose the designation "PRIMES FUND IN MATHEMATICS (3895820)". We appreciate your support!


With questions, contact PRIMES Program Director Dr. Slava Gerovitch at