Summer Program for Women in
Student Comments about SPWM
out program evaluations through extensive formal and informal feedback from the
participants. We ask the participants to provide written comments at the
midpoint and at the end of the program.
Typical comments are:
- ``I gained a wealth of information and insight. I'm now
convinced that I can succeed in grad school.''
- ``Just being around peers and faculty and other
professionals helped a great deal and I've made a [career] decision.''
- ``I feel the strongest part of this program was the
interaction between us the students with faculty, guest speakers, and TAs. I have learned so much from it and it has made
this experience one which will have a strong impact on my life
- ``It was great reading the research papers. It was very
encouraging to realize that I know enough to read other people's work.''
- ``I have grown a great deal mathematically in my short
stay. The faculty, students and staff have been crucial to this.''
- ``I have met many wonderful and exciting people and
broadened my understanding about what grad school entails and the subjects
I could study to have a prosperous and enjoyable future.''
- ``This has been an excellent experience. I now feel
confident about graduate school. I also feel confident about my choice to
be in mathematics... I now know I can succeed in math.''
- ``The program really did motivate me.''
- ``I am amazed at how much more aware I am now than I
was a month ago.''
what a faculty advisor wrote in 1997 about a program participant from our 1995
``I believe that
[student name]'s summer at GWU changed her life. When she returned to [college
name] in September, she was unable to contain her enthusiasm. After her summer
experience, she was certain that she wanted to pursue a career as a professor
of mathematics. Today, [student name] is in graduate school at the University
We recently approached
all of the program participants for their impressions about the effectiveness
of our program.
A participant from our
1995 summer program wrote:
- ``The summer math program was very beneficial for me.
It introduced me to a lot of people who loved math as much as I did and
the program gave me an idea of what to expect in grad school. I am glad
that I was offered such an opportunity.''
participants from our 1996 summer program wrote:
- ``I believe that the summer program helped me
tremendously. It gave me an idea of what grad school would be like and it
helped encourage me to go on with my studies. I still keep in touch with a
few others so I have also made some lasting friendships. I really think
the summer program was very beneficial to me and helped broaden my
horizon. Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity.''
- ``As for the effectiveness of SPWM, the program really
helped me a lot to develop more mathematical sophistication and to
appreciate the ever-growing world of mathematics. It was also really great
to understand math in a more global sense: not only were we taking classes
from disciplines we'd never heard of before (Measure Theory), but we were
taking classes with people from all over the country, and with teachers
from all over the world. So, I really think that this universal aspect of
mathematics is something that I only appreciated after the program, and
especially now in graduate school. I definitely think that SPWM prepared
me for graduate school: at least in the sense
that we knew what to expect, and could in some ways determine whether or
not we could (or even if we wanted to) rise to the challenge.''
- ``My impressions of the program..... I think it was one
of the most important things I ever did. I needed to be with other girls
who were math majors. There were a lot of things we had in common that I
didn't get to share with people at my own university. It was an extremely
unique situation for me to be in a math class with ALL girls! Really
different classroom dynamics in terms of what I did and how we related to
each other. Thank you for that opportunity!''
- ``I think SPWM is a successful program. I think by
making it as challenging as it was for us, it helped everyone get a sense
for where they were and what the future in grad school would be like.''
- ``I enjoyed meeting other women interested in math. The
whole experience made me really consider going on to graduate school in
mathematics, and opened my eyes to all the possible directions I could
take. My math classes here didn't really give me the "big
picture;" I didn't know that there were so many different fields of
mathematics to choose from.
received the following comments from two participants of our 1997 summer
- ``As for the summer program. I found it very effective.
It definitely convinced me to attend graduate school. It also gave me
confidence in my abilities. I had a great time there and I enjoyed meeting
other women in math and learning new things.''
``I have been in classes for
almost a month now, my how times flies. The only math class I am taking now is
Abstract Algebra. It is a bit strange knowing that we will not cover the
material we learned at the program because that is more advanced than we will
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