by Diana Davis
Had I not just happened to sit next to another math graduate student on the train, and had he not just happened to mention what he had done last summer, I would never have known about graduate summer school. My friend said it is like summer camp with math classes—an opportunity not to be missed! Graduate summer school is a unique opportunity for math graduate students to attend math classes, go to math talks, and socialize with other math graduate students for part of the summer.
Graduate summer school sessions range from one week (Raleigh, Bowling Green) to a full month (Clay Math Institute; a month of math during vacation may seem like a lot, but note that it is in Hawaii). The NSF and the graduate student’s home department can usually pay for tuition and transportation. To apply, most programs simply require a statement and a recommendation from someone in the math department. To find programs, search for math graduate summer school 2009. Additionally, Iowa State and the University of Washington list most of the available opportunities here and here.
Some of the deadlines have passed, but some are still accepting applications. It is a great opportunity to get to know other young mathematicians from other universities, and to learn about something completely different.