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HOW ARE STUDENTS IDENTIFIED?
Potential applicants are sourced from worldwide talent and enrichment programs; accredited and internationally recognized student math and science competitions; nominations from mathematicians, scientists, and educators in the World Science Festival network; direct applications from aspirational, highly motivated, exceptional students; and announcements at prestigious math and science events and in select media. Recruiting partners include: Advantage Testing Foundation Math Prize for Girls, Canada/USA Mathcamp, Davidson Academy of Nevada, Duke University Talent Identification Program, Math for America, and Society for Science & the Public.
WHO SUPPORTS STUDENT LEARNING?
Students enjoy a rare opportunity to interact in a meaningful way with leaders from a broad range of fields who serve as professors, recruited from the World Science Festival network, higher education, as well as the corporate, private, and government sectors. Professors are committed to promoting innovation and passion in pedagogy, and hold visionary perspectives on the relationships among mathematics, science, and humanity.
Working with the faculty are graduate students or postdoctoral students who serve as teaching fellows, helping develop course materials and supporting student learning. Additionally, the program connects students with local mentors who discuss course material, resolve questions that arise, refine project ideas, and help students define their own college and career pathways.
HOW WILL STUDENTS LEARN?
Students are invited to travel to New York City with a parent/guardian to initiate their experience at the World Science Festival, where they meet peers, are introduced to the program, and observe some of the world’s greatest minds engage in vibrant discussions, debates, and performances that span the sciences and mathematics. Students unable to travel at that time are encouraged to participate virtually or in person at a future Festival.
After the Festival concludes, students immerse themselves in the online curriculum, which is accessible anytime, anywhere. Students determine their own time investment, from 1-3 hours per week, to complete the basic course materials. Students who become captivated by new material or absorbed in challenge problems may invest more time. The content is intellectually rigorous, interdisciplinary, and designed to challenge and inspire.
Featuring university-level content, the courses are immersive, dynamic, and interactive, featuring core lectures by world-renowned experts and supplemented by an extensive array of online resources in an innovative and compelling format based upon the World Science U platform.
Students are encouraged to work collaboratively, tackle complex problems, make substantial mental leaps, and grow in their ability to exercise independent, creative, and critical thinking. Although professors, teaching fellows, and local mentors guide students sequentially through the courses designed to maximize opportunities for collaboration and community-building, students have the flexibility to work through the learning activities within each course at their own pace according to their individual schedules.
WHAT WILL STUDENTS LEARN?
Students can complete up to 16 online learning experiences, with each typically consisting of three, 60-90 minute sessions guided by world-renowned scientists and supported by a rich trove of digital materials including interactive demonstrations, creative problem solving, community discussions, live sessions, and vibrant animations.
Because the curriculum is developed collaboratively with faculty members supporting a specific cohort of students, course offerings may change over time. Representative course titles might include: Algorithm Analysis and Design; Cognitive Neuroimaging; Computational Chemistry; Computational Epidemiology; Crowds, Markets, and the Web; Digital Signal Processes; Essentials of Game Theory; Essentials of Graph Theory; Essentials of Probability and Stochastic Processes; Evolutionary Ecology; Multi-objective Optimization; Probabilities in the Universe; Quantitative Finance; Quantum Reality; Quantum Theory and Applications; and Transport and Communication Geography.
WHAT OPPORTUNITIES EXIST FOR GROUP PROJECTS?
Throughout the first half of the program, students are encouraged to brainstorm possible group projects to complete during the second half of the program. Although participation in a group project is not required, these collaborative learning experiences allow students to examine how applied mathematics can help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
Groups with outstanding project proposals at the halfway point in the program are invited to present their ideas to a panel of experts who provide feedback and select the best proposals to be pursued as projects during the second half of the program. Each approved project is overseen by a faculty member and a dedicated teaching fellow. Students whose proposals are not selected may choose to join a greenlit group project as they complete the remaining courses, or, because participation in a group project is not a program requirement, they may opt to take courses only.
Students are expected to independently conceive, develop, drive, and sustain the projects, which ideally culminate in a research paper, academic poster, or multimedia report that they can share at the next Festival. This experience affords students an opportunity to gain experience conducting research and presenting their findings and recommendations, which are key skills for communicating high-level work to the general public and to fellow scientists and academics.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER STUDENTS COMPLETE THE PROGRAM?
Students become members of an alumni network that helps to identify and support future cohorts. The intention is that the connections between past and present cohorts lead to mentoring relationships, friendships, and professional collaborations, as well as future engagements with the World Science Festival and the larger mathematics and science communities.