BEAM Newsletter, Fall 2019. Purchase tickets for BEAM Puzzles & Trivia Night in NYC (Oct 24) and LA (Nov 3) below.
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BEAM Summer Away at Harvey Mudd College

BEAM Summer Away students work in the rooftop garden at Harvey Mudd College. At Summer Away, students study number theory, combinatorics, circuit design, graph theory, and problem solving.

This summer, BEAM Summer Away (for rising 8th graders) launched in Los Angeles. Hosted at Harvey Mudd College in nearby Claremont, CA, it's our sixth program site. Here's some of the story at Harvey Mudd, told in numbers:

41―The number of students at Summer Away, Harvey Mudd (37 of whom attended BEAM Discovery, our summer program for rising 7th graders).
14―The greatest number of students who worked together to solve a single Challenge Problem.
100―The number of hours of math each student completed.
30―The number of students who signed up to play Lechuga, a game the students created only a few days before. (For you Spanish speakers, yes, the game is named "lettuce." It's a long story.)

After the program, Maya wrote, "BEAM Summer Away taught me what determination looks like."

Want more? Read about mathematician Dr. Edray Goins' visit and watch for BEAM's Annual Report in October, which will highlight Summer Away and more.

Join BEAM for Puzzles & Trivia Night

Enjoy food, drinks, and slightly mathy puzzles and trivia!
New York
Thursday, October 24, 6:30 - 9 pm
NYC Fire Museum, Soho
Los Angeles
Sunday, November 3, 6:00 - 8:30 pm
Taqueria Los Anaya, Mid-City
"This was a really fun event! Very high quality trivia questions (and good food). Thank you!" Caroline (Trivia Night 2018 participant)

College Prep Week

BEAM students (left to right) Deja, Iroha, Vanessa, and Crystal consult on their answer for Final Jeopardy during College Prep Week.

For first-generation college students, getting into and succeeding in college can be an overwhelming challenge. During College Prep Week, BEAM alumni and staff offered advice and shared their experiences.

Here's some of what BEAM alumni said:

  • Get someone who doesn’t know you to read your essay; it can be uncomfortable but it made my essay better.
  • Find a set time and dedicate it to college stuff (like Thursday office hours at BEAM).
  • Ask current students how helpful the college's financial aid office is.

BEAM students learned about college admissions, financial aid, choosing the right college, standardized tests, and more. Twelfth graders worked on college essays.

Oh, and there was Jeopardy!

Vanessa said about College Prep Week, “I learned about FAFSA, CSS, TAP, QuestBridge, and how BEAM will help me. I feel more prepared to approach the college process."

Staff Picks

BEAM staff members suggest informative (and fun) things to read, watch, listen to, play... and more.
Sarah Hunt, High School Program Assistant, recommends:
I Was a Low-Income College Student. Classes Weren’t the Hard Part.
The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students

The author, Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack, who attended Amherst College as a first-generation student and now teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, exposes the yawning gap between the lip service universities offer to racial and socioeconomic diversity, and the realities of campus life for low-income, first-generation students. He addresses both the structural forces that block students from accessing important campus resources, as well as the continuing personal impact of racist expectations. As BEAM assists our students through high school and into college, we support them in addressing both challenges. But this work highlights the fact that colleges themselves must create systems that acknowledge the existence of students with fewer resources.
Sarah has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. At BEAM, Sarah supports and teaches our high school students and coordinates Saturday programming.
Barbara Ely, Middle School Program Coordinator, recommends:
The Mystery of 42 Is Solved

42 was the last remaining number below 100 that could not be expressed as the sum of three cubes―until now! I came across this cool video by Numberphile about how the problem was solved while putting together Challenge Sets for our students. I don't know if I'm excited or disappointed that the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is now less mysterious, but either way, you should check it out.
Barbara has a BA in math and drama from Vassar and an MA in secondary math education from the City College of New York. At BEAM, she teaches algebra and manages BEAM’s math team outreach initiative, New York City programs admissions, and Discovery alumni outreach.
Lynn Cartwright-Punnett, Executive Director, NY Programs, recommends:
Scrapping the SHSAT: Breaking Down Who Would Be Affected, And How

There is a real demographic problem at NYC's specialized schools, and it impacts all students who attend (including the students BEAM helps to become admitted!). Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza have a plan to bring more diversity to specialized high schools that involves pulling strong students from all city middle schools. The problem is that any change made only to specialized schools risks reinforcing (or exacerbating) inequities in other parts of the school system. A recent report from the Center for New York City Affairs dives deep into the data, concluding, "the mayor’s proposal would help to level the playing field at the specialized schools, but it would leave the unfair competition intact—and perhaps even intensify it—at the most high-demand non-specialized schools."
Lynn has worked for BEAM since 2013.She is responsible for BEAM programs from middle school through college. Lynn has a BA in history and Spanish from Wesleyan University and an MS in Teaching from Pace University with a focus in teaching middle school math to English Language Learners.

Snap, Snap!

BEAM students had a busy summer...

Eric (BEAM 2014) attended PROMYS (Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists), a prestigious summer program at Boston University for students to dive into number theory.
Rawin (BEAM 2018) took part in MathPath, a top math program for middle graders.
Isabella (BEAM 2015) completed the Summer Research Mentoring Program at the American Museum of Natural History. During her internship she used Python programming (which she first studied at BEAM's Saturday classes) to model interactions between stars and then present the data.
Stephanie (BEAM 2016) attended Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp at Texas State University, an intensive multi-summer program in number theory for promising students of all socio-economic backgrounds.

Ezra (BEAM 2016) participated in the summer program at the Center for Excellence in Youth Education, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai.
Thays (BEAM 2017) attended Duke University TIP (Talent Identification Program).
Daniel (BEAM 2017), Milan (BEAM 2017), Sergey (BEAM 2018), and Richard (BEAM 2017) attended John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth summer programs.

Stephanie, Milan, Thays, and Daniel (clockwise from top left).

... And Now For Some (Slightly) Mathy Trivia

Here are just a few of the questions we asked in the first round of last year's Trivia Night. Can you match each answer with a math symbol (pictured)?
1. What is the last name of a famous tennis player whose first name is Bjorn?
2. What is the word for an old leather or metal glove?
3. What public company has the highest market capitalization?
4. What programming language that is a dialect of Lisp is also a word for a devious plan?
Click here for more questions. The answers are there too, but don't peek until you've taken a shot at them all.

Ready for another round? Here are all four rounds of last year's trivia. Discover a challenging logic-and-trivia puzzle, a game theoretic challenge about civil rights, and more.
"Our students had a wonderful time at BEAM this year! They are far more confident in their abilities and showing real leadership in the classroom. I can't express how thankful I am to BEAM for giving them this opportunity." 
Hossein Fassa, math teacher from BEAM partner school, The New School for Leadership and The Arts

Your support makes more math possible. Thank you!

Copyright © 2019 Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics, All rights reserved.

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