Summer School Teachers Program 2013

— With program support provided by Math for America


Making Mathematical Connections

The Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, offers comprehensive professional development for mathematicians and teachers of mathematics, as well as programs for students aspiring to a career in mathematics.

The Summer School Teachers Program (SSTP) Summer Session is a 3-week residential program in Park City, Utah and is part of the larger PCMI program. The SSTP is for both high school and middle school teachers of mathematics. Teachers are given full support and a stipend during the Summer Session. In addition, 6 quarter-credits of 400-level mathematics are available from the University of Washington for a modest fee.

The 23nd Annual PCMI Summer Session will be held June 30 – July 20, 2013.

Click HERE to apply to the Summer School Teachers Program.


The SSTP is structured around three goals:

All teachers should be involved in

  • continuing to learn and do mathematics
  • analyzing and refining classroom practice
  • becoming resources to colleagues and the profession.

Each of these goals is reflected in the three strands that comprise the summer courses and activities.

Math Course

Probability, Randomization, and Polynomials 

Pick two positive integers at random.  What is the probability that the two numbers don't have a common factor?  What happens to the probability if the numbers are picked from 1 to 100.   1 to 1000?  1 to infinity?  Roll 5 dice.  What is the probability of rolling a sum of 13?  What sum is most likely?  What does the distribution of sums look like?  These questions can be answered with the help of algebra.  The course will also explore the meaning and definition of standard deviation and variance, the effects of repeating an experiment many times, and ways to generate or test random data.  The contexts and methods developed in the course will be low-threshold, high-ceiling, with plenty of interesting mathematics for any grade level

Reflecting on Practice

Challenging Tasks focuses on the nature of tasks teachers assign students and how the tasks are implemented in classrooms. Participants will identify characteristics of tasks that make them mathematically worthwhile and modify tasks to make them a better learning experience for students as well as explore strategies for how to organize and manage students as they are working. They will consider what they as teachers can do to maintain the cognitive demand of tasks, yet provide scaffolding for students if they struggle. The discussion will be grounded in research related to teaching and learning mathematics including typical tasks and their implementation in other countries.


Working Groups

(2 hours, 4 days a week)

As part of the summer activities, each participant selected for the Summer School Teacher Summer Program will be assigned to a small team that will focus on an activity related to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics or to related state standards, either for use with students or for professional development with teachers. The assignments will be made based on participant interest and experience as well as the needs identified by schools and districts. The teams will be formed by grade level (lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, high school) with respect to content related to the following strands: number, measurement, algebra, geometry, advanced algebra, advanced mathematics, statistics or lesson study. Accepted participants will be notified of their assignment prior to the summer session and specific topics within each content area will be decided upon at that time.

The teams will be responsible for producing lesson plans or activities for teachers to use in their classes or workshops and for preparing implementation strategies for dissemination of the materials.

All participants will be consulted and notified of their working group assignments prior to the Institute.

Applicants should rank their first, second, and third choice of Working Group on the application form. After applicants are accepted and named to a Working Group, some preparation in the form of reading or materials review may be suggested by working group leaders.