PRIMES: Program Details
PRIMES is a year-long program, which includes four phases:
- Phase I, January 1 - 31:
Reading period. In early January you will be notified of the admission decision and 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 work on your project under the guidance of your mentor. You will be expected to spend at least 10 hours per week working on your project. This includes home study and a 1.5-hour weekly meeting with your mentor on the MIT campus. The day/time of your meeting will be chosen to suit both you and your mentor. You will occasionally discuss your project with the MIT faculty member who suggested your project and with the head mentor. At the end of May, you will present the obtained results at a PRIMES conference, which your friends and family members will be welcome to attend.
- Phase III, June 1 - August 31:
Independent study period. You will continue working on your project independently, staying in e-mail contact with your mentor. PRIMES does not conflict with any summer programs, since it has a flexible schedule in the summer.
- Phase IV, September 1 - December 31:
Write-up period. You will meet with your mentor as needed and stay in regular e-mail contact. With the help of your mentor, you will finalize 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 professional research journals for publication.
PRIMES is a free program. It selects students based on their qualifications and solutions of a problem set. For details, see How to Apply.