UW College of Engineering Math Academy

Uploaded by engrUW on 29.02.2012

>> Student: 250... We just plug 250 into the PGCO2и
>> Instructor: Yeah, so for example, if we use the starch balance equation we're going
to come up with pH that's very close to the ocean.
>> The Math Academy was the brain child of our former assistant dean, Dr. Thomas Calhoun.
At the time, he had a grant that was able to pay for the program.
>> One day I was walking down the hall and Thomas Calhoun stopped me on the hall, and
he says, "Say, Dave, I'm thinking about this program, where we bring in high school juniors
and we give them a real strong academic experience and give them an opportunity to see what engineering
is all about."
>> Eve: ...to take the students who were really strong students, who were very interested
in engineering, to help them brush up on their math and expose them to college life, expose
them to the kinds of rigorous work that they need to do in a university in order to succeed
in an engineering program.
>> A lot of the students from my high school weren't in the best financial position. I
think half of us were on free or reduced lunch. And so having a free summer that we could
come spend at the university was just amazing. I mean we didn't have to worry about paying
for it, it was something that was provided to us because we earned it on merit.
>> I've worked hard, but now that I'm here, I'm like, "Yeah, there's a big gap between
high school and college math." So the Math Academy kind of lets you know early and gives
you tips. So it prepares you and it's pushing you to do more work and striving to be better.
>> Nick: I definitely think it was a resume builder. This is my second year getting the
ALVA internship at Boeing.
>> Eve: They spend about six hours a day in math, either in lectures or in group study
sessions where they're working through many many many math problems.
>> Dalia: When I came here I was like, I have pretty solid math skills. First algebra worksheet,
I got it back and I was like, "I've never gotten this low score in my life." So I realize
that algebra and pre-calculus are like a big foundation for any other math you do. So just
being here everyday, you know worksheets and worksheets and revising those worksheets until
you get them right. Now I look at problems differently. It's not about getting the right
answer, it's about how to get to the right answer.
>> Now they understand what it takes to be successful. That's the math part, and then
there's the engineering explorations component.
>> Dalia: Global warming, and climate change, and all these different things -- engineers
have to deal with it, and if there's no engineers, how are you going to fix the problem?
>> Eve: It's for the first time we have a gender balance. This year there are unrepresented
minorities. They're very very strong students. The average high school GPA is, you know,
nearly a 3.9.
>> Everybody should be coming in -- women, minorities as well because they bring a new
>> Eve: We had 90 applications for just 32 spots so it is a very competitive process
to be admitted to the Math Academy. It's really a special kind of student who is willing to
spend a month of their "last summer" doing math.
>> Nick: It was a really good decision on my part. Like, I would have liked to have
stayed home and sleep, but looking back on it, it was much more productive and much more
fun. I'm hoping to stay as involved as I can because I really think it's a valuable program
and I've heard that now they have to pay for housing. Whereas in my year they didn't, I
think. Anything I can do to help ease that burden, I'm going to try.
>> This is a great way to invest in the future pool of engineers, but in particular, a diverse
pool of engineering.
>> The Math Academy will produce really good math and science students now, and they're
going to pursue careers in engineering. And we need engineers. So I'm reorganizing my
college list already, just by being here for a week. It's awesome.