PROMYS Europe has commenced its fifth consecutive year, welcoming 21 first time students, seven returning students and eight counsellors, seven of whom were students on the programme in the past.
“It is really nice to be with people who share my enthusiasm for maths”, said Maria, 17, from Romania, “and we get lots of great feedback on our work.”
Anett, 17, from Hungary, heard about the programme from a student at her school who had attended a previous course. “The problems are really difficult but being able to talk together about them makes things much easier.”
Wojtek, from Poland, is the Head Counsellor on this year’s programme, having twice been a student and three times a counsellor. He is looking forward to starting a Masters at St Cross College Oxford in the autumn. “PROMYS Europe is the main reason I decided to apply to Oxford” he said. “What makes PROMYS unique is that it gives students a taste of real maths. We give them research to do and they get into a different mind-set, feeling that they are discovering new mathematics.”
Mario and Pau, 17, from Spain are enjoying the creative aspect of the problems they are being set. “There are some easy problems so everyone can do a bit but also difficult ones, so that we do not get bored,” commented Pau.
These talented mathematicians represent a number of European countries including Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and Ukraine.
Based at Wadham, the students enjoy lectures and workshops at the Mathematical Institute where they are taught by Glenn Stevens (Boston University) Henry Cohn (Microsoft Research) and Vicky Neale, Whitehead Lecturer in the Mathematical Institute. A number of high profile visiting lecturers, including Sir Andrew Wiles, also teach the students.
Financial support from the Clay Mathematics Institute, Wadham College and other Oxford donors, mean student selection is on a needs-blind basis, with full funding available for travel and participation for those who need it. The Oxford programme is a spin-off from a programme run annually at Boston University and led by Director Glenn Stevens.