Letter from Kelly – December 17th 2020

Dear HCSSiM,

Your participation in the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics is always appreciated and again invited.

Ever since the National Science Foundation stopped funding Young Scholars Programs, generous Summer Studies alums have enabled us to maintain the high faculty:student ratio and to honor a commitment to offer= adequate financial aid. Contributions made to HCSSiM through Hampshire College have always been used exclusively for HCSSiM; and what is left of student fees after paying for dorm and food remains in HCSSiM’s operating budget.

Loyal and forward-looking HCSSiM alums have revived the YP MATH FOUNDATION, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, whose exclusive mission is to help cover the operational costs of the Summer Studies at Hampshire, and to endow it for future years. Contributing to YPMF at https://hcssim.org/online-giving/ is the preferred way to support the Summer Studies; but checks to HCSSiM or to YPMF mailed to the College’s West St address below or to the Foundation’s NYC address (also below, but less so) will still be appreciated. This fund-raising appeal continues in the penultimate paragraph.

Last Spring we told 514 applicants (and the rest of the world) that the 2020 Summer Studies would not happen. That uncomfortable decision was rescinded. An invitation to a virtual Summer Studies was sent to the 234 who’d sent in Interesting Tests. Two weeks later, 51 students (14 f, 37 m, 17 states, 7 countries) joined 10 staff (Kelly, Susan, Paul Phillips, Ari Turner, Josh Greene, Amber Verser, Milo Brandt, Jessie Feng, David Tu, Jessica Shi) at the Zoom Opening Meeting of HCSSiM 2020, July 15 – August 14, 2020.

Our ongoing follow-up will inform planning for a 2nd virtual program if necessary. Most students felt they got a lot out of HCSSiM 2020’s five daily Zoom hours. They typically closed each session with a “thank you”. Many, however, were passive and many were usually invisible (neither is possible in a “real” program, as you know). The faculty worked long hours and taught beautifully, as always; and we enjoyed each other and the collaborating, as always. To provide, in a second virtual summer session, more 1-, 2-, or 3-on-1 time with faculty, and to allow us to provide individual feedback on written work we’d augment the faculty with more junior staff (e.g, HCSSiM alums still in school); having them be part-time and not having to provide room and board make this financially feasible. We’d also plan more and earlier ice-breaking semi-social events such as movies, math games, interactive puzzles, and virtual tours of HC and Kelly’s house. There are now alternatives to Zoom that will allow us to better approximate in-person HCSSiM problem sessions.

One reason for having a 48th program in 2020 is to make the 51st Summer Studies happen in 17 x 17 x 7. Please help plan   YELLOW PIG MATH DAYS, Sat. July 15 – Tuesday, July 18, 2023.

Volunteer, e.g., to be a class agent or a presenter, or suggest speakers, sponsors, activities, special events, food,…, and plan to come back to Amherst for our 51st anniversary celebration. Letting us know early if you plan to come (and if special accommodations are needed) will help us plan. A YPMD webpage will soon exist.

We’ll have virtual YP17 HCSSiM Reunion Breakfast at the virtual 2021 JMM
on Friday January 9th, 2021 from 7:34 to 9:34AM Mountain Time. It should soon be listed on the Meetings Program. We’re told that attendance will be limited to JMM registrants, so… Let’s have a virtual HCSSiM Reunion Supper on Sunday, January 17, 2021, 17:17 – … Look forward to a link—we might suggest different arrival times or chatrooms for different decades.

Please share your information, yellow pig sightings, 17s, suggestions for faculty, students, and donors, and IT questions, comments, complaints, … and stay safe and hopeful.

If you can, contribute to keep the Summer Studies going. We’ve earned your support and might have been the first educational/religious/political/humanitarian/… cause to have done so. We don’t expect major philanthropy from those still in school, unemployed, or just beginning careers or families; but we hope all alums feel that HCSSiM deserves something. Older alums have discovered tax benefits, companies that (and parents who) match donations, and the fact that 17 has multiples and even powers, (odd powers as well and both are odd). However long ago it was that you sang Yellow Pigs Day carols, hiked the Holyoke Ridge, or enjoyed a Prime Time Theorem, please help preserve the existence of the life-changing math program where “everybody knows your name”. You may donate at https://hcssim.org/online-giving/ . We prefer online donations, but checks (made out to YP Math Foundation) can be sent to the Foundation’s secretary at:

                                            YP Math Foundation
                                            c/o Adam Litke ‘79, Secretary
                                            440 West End Avenue, Apt 12B
                                            New York, NY 10024


Kelly and Susan

David C.  Kelly, Founder and Director
Susan Goff, Program Coordinator

Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics
Box NS, Hampshire College
893 West St.
Amherst, MA 01002-3359
Fax: 413-559-5448

The 49th Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics will probably happen June 27 – August 8, 2021.

Remember that applying is fast, free, fun, obligationless, and doable online even while other options are being explored; not applying unnecessarily closes doors, means not seeing the Interesting Test, and may cause drowsiness and boredom.