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Summer Math Program For High School Students: Honors Summer Math Camp

Residential summer math program for high school students

27th annual HSMC: June 19 - July 30, 2016


The Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp (HSMC) is an intensive multi-summer program for high school students. The goal of the program is to develop talented students of all socioeconomic backgrounds through immersive and in-depth experiences in an unique learning environment.  Students develop important skills for future degrees and careers in math, science, engineering, and many other fields.

The HSMC courses nurture

  1. Rigorous reasoning and logic skills (through experiences in mathematical proof-writing)
  2. Creative problem identification and solving skills
  3. Excellent teamwork and collaboration skills
  4. Mindsets to tackle open-ended problems
  5. Great communication and presentation skills

Students are taught by university faculty, mentored by undergraduate counselors, and share the joy of exploring mathematics with their peers.


Support the Honors Summer Math Camp

To support the "Alumni Legacy Endowed Scholarship" for the Honors Summer Math Camp (HSMC)donate here.  Thanks to a new match challenge pledged by the Kodosky Foundation, every donation to the Endowed Scholarship will be matched dollar for dollar.

The HSMC tuition fee is $3,300 for students who can afford it, but this amount only covers 90% of the true per-student cost of conducting the program, which includes room and board, faculty and staff salaries, and program management.  We rely on the generous support of alumni, parents, and other thoughtful donors to provide mathematical opportunities to all interested students.

Participants of the 2015 Honors Summer Math Camp




Eligibility & Admissions

  • We start taking applications in January 1st of each year, and we stop taking applications after April 15th.  Decisions are made on a quasi-rolling basis.  Applications will no longer be accepted once all spots are filled.
  • We encourage students currently in the 9th or 10th grades or above to apply to our first-year program (Students younger than 9th grade: rare exceptions will be made based on mathematical level and maturity).
  • Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as enrollment is limited to 60 openings split between first-year and returning students.  Applications will not be considered until all parts have been received (application, teacher recommendation, and transcript).
  • To maintain the quality of the program, we accept a maximum of 32 first-year (first time) students.  
  • Our average acceptance rate for first-year applicants has been 20%.
  • The typical ratio of boys to girls in the program is 1:1.
  • Participants come from all over the United States.  We have also had a few international students from other countries, including Hungary, Bulgaria, Taiwan, Spain, China, and Indonesia.
  • For further questions regarding eligibility, contact us at mathworks@txstate.edu or (512) 245-3439.


To Apply

  1. Complete the online student application form.
  2. If you have not attended the HSMC before, you must apply for the first-year program.  There are no exceptions!
  3. Have your recommending teacher complete the Teacher Recommendation Form.
  4. Send us a copy of your high school transcript.
    We encourage students to send in all their application materials as early as possible.

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Rolling Admissions

We have a 'rolling admission' policy whereby we go over applications in three rounds. Please carefully read over the timeline below. Within each round of decisions, we will notify applicants of either an accepted or declined status, or by default your application will be deferred to the next round. In other words, if you have submitted a complete application by a certain round and do not hear from us, then by default your application has been deferred to the next round. E.g., if you submit all your materials to us before March 15, but do not receive an e-mail notification by March 30 regarding being accepted or declined, then your application has been deferred to the third round of decisions.

Round Submit a complete application by Decision by (Accept/Decline/Defer)
Round 1 February 15 February 20
Round 2 March 15 March 30
Round 3 (Final Round) April 15 April 20

Expenses and Financial Aid

  • The full tuition fee is $3,300.
  • Your student's spot in the summer math program is ensured only when you have paid in full.
  • The payment deadline is May 10th.
  • Mathworks offers camp scholarships based on financial need.  We make all efforts to ensure that students can attend regardless of financial background.  Simply fill out the financial aid portion of the application. 
  • The program provides room, board, books, supplies and a copy of the software Mathematica for each student to use during the school year. Students will need approximately $20 per week for laundry and miscellaneous expenses. 

External Funding Support

Below are some external funding opportunities for summer program participation support.  These are not administered by Mathworks.  Please contact the respective organizations for more information.

  • Mu Alpha Theta summer grants: students accepted into the HSMC who are members of their school's Mu Alpha Theta club are highly encouraged to apply to Mu Alpha Theta's summer grants.  They offer up to $2,000 for members to attend summer math programs.  More information can be found here.
  • Joyce Ivy Foundation Summer Scholars grants: for female students from Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, or South Dakota.  More information can be found here.

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Sample Daily Schedule


1st-year Students
(first-time students)

2nd-year Students
(returning students)

3rd-year Students
(returning students)

7:00-8:00am Breakfast  
8:15-9:45am                         Number Theory                                      Research Projects                    Research Projects
9:50-10:50am Honors Seminar Research Projects
10:55-Noon Guest Speakers Research Projects  
 Noon-12:40pm Lunch   
 12:45-1:45pm Problem Session/Mathematica Lab Combinatorics Analysis II
 1:50-2:50pm Problem Session/Mathematica Lab Analysis I Abstract Algebra
 3:00-5:00pm Recreation and Free Time   
 5:00-6:00pm  Dinner  
 6:00-10:00pm  Study Group  


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Course Descriptions

  • Elementary Number Theory provides a solid foundation for all students in mathematics. This course covers basic properties of integer arithmetic, including unique prime factorization, Euclid’s algorithm, Diophantine equations, modular arithmetic, congruences, induction, well-ordering, quadratic residues and quadratic reciprocity.
  • Mathematica Computer Lab enables students to explore the application of ideas discussed in the Number Theory and Problem Solving courses. Students use the Mathematica software to model real world problems. Specific applications include coding theory, public key encryption, testing for primes, and the Chinese Remainder Theorem.
  • Honors Seminar - modeled after Honors Programs offered at many top-tier colleges, the Honors Seminar is an interdisciplinary course that challenges students intellectually through rigorous standards of analysis, preparing them to conduct their own research in the future.  Hands-on learning experiences introduce students to concepts of teamwork and critical thinking.  Reading discussions and guest speakers add fundamental and thought-provoking theories from multiple perspectives.  The capstone project for the course is an entrepreneurship activity that includes a final group presentation.
  • Combinatorics, Abstract Algebra, and Analysis, provide returning students with a firm foundation in fundamental areas of mathematics, while building on ideas from the first year.
  • Study Group - students are assigned into groups of 3 or 4, and provided guidance by an undergraduate mentor (counselor) to work on the daily problem sets.  This intensive collaboration allows students to delve deeply into the mathematics, and think carefully about each question.  Teamwork and communication skills are developed as students work together in the exploration of mathematical theorems.

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Research Projects

Students who have gone through the HSMC's first-year program and are returning have the opportunity to conduct original math research projects in a team that can be submitted to various contests.  The Honors Summer Math Camp has a strong record of producing award-winning research projects.  In 2009, a team from the HSMC won first place at the national level of the Siemens Competition, sharing a $100,000 college scholarship.

From 2001-2014, students' team entries have achieved the following in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology:

  • National Finalist: 5 teams
  • Regional Finalist: 18 teams
  • Semifinalist: 28 teams

A full listing of HSMC research papers and results in the Siemens Competition is given here.

Student projects have also received awards in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, as well as publications in scholarly journals.

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Activities and Camp Life

  • Students live in a campus dormitory under the supervision of 15 counselors (undergraduate mentors) who are HSMC alumni.
  • All students have free use of the University's Student Recreation Center, which offers basketball courts, volleyball courts, racquetball courts, an indoor track, and a swimming pool.
  • There is a guest lecture each Friday afternoon by a speaker from academia or industry, followed by a picnic with games and socializing at the local park.
  • Weekend activities include (subject to change):
    • Hiking Enchanted Rock
    • Shopping at San Marcos' famed Outlet Malls
    • Tubing down the San Marcos River
    • Visiting Bamberger Selah Ranch
    • Watching a play at Austin's Zilker Park

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Items of Interest

1. Clothing: Warm weather clothing will be appropriate for most occasions.  Central Texas is hot in the summer - the average daily high temperature is 95°F in the summer months! Warm weather clothing includes casual and sports wear, such as shorts, swimsuits, cut-offs, and sneakers or hiking shoes for the weekend field trips. Some people also enjoy wearing a sweater in air-conditioned buildings. Finally, an umbrella or other rain gear may prove helpful in the event of rain. Note: Please bring non-marking athletics shoes for use in the University's Student Recreation Center.  Please also bring at least one set of formal/semi-formal wear.

2. Laundry: laundry machines are available in the Texas State University residence halls.  Please use high-efficiency (HE) detergent. 

3. Rooms: We are staying in a dormitory on campus. Separate sides/floors of the dorm are provided for male and female students. The dorm is air-conditioned, complete with a lounge suitable for relaxing and small-group discussions, a small recreation area, and study rooms on the first floor. Camp counselors and students will be provided with access cards and room keys. There is a $50 charge for a lost key or access card. Students should bring their own ethernet cords for Internet access within dorm rooms.

4. Mail Service: Please address mail to

[Participant's Name]
c/o Mathworks, ASB South 110
601 University Dr.
Texas State University
San Marcos, TX 78666

5. Personal Items: Students should pack the following to the program

  • Clothing (both casual and sports wear)
  • One set of formal wear (dress clothes)
  • Hoody/sweatshirt/jacket (buildings are air-conditioned)
  • Swimwear
  • Umbrella/raincoat
  • Backpack
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Laundry detergent (high-efficiency HE detergent)
  • Drier sheets for laundry
  • Toiletries/personal hygiene items
  • Clothes hangers
  • Bath towel
  • Shower sandals
  • Alarm clock
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Bed Sheets (Extra Long Twin size)
  • Pillow
  • Blanket
  • Laptop
  • Ethernet cable for laptop
  • Desk lamp
  • Power strip/surge protector
  • Laundry basket/laundry bag
  • Shower tote/caddy
  • Personal medications

All personal items of value should be labeled with the student's name.  We recommend labeling all your items!

Students might like to bring a laptop, guitar or other portable musical instrument, binoculars, camera, board games, playing cards, Frisbees, and tennis or racquetball gear.

No skateboards or televisions are permitted.

6. Supervision: Fifteen to sixteen undergraduate mentors (camp counselors) will live in the dorm with the students. Camp counselors and faculty will be present at all of the program's activities.

7. Rules and Regulations: There will NO tobacco, alcohol, or drugs used by students while attending the Texas Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp. Prompt class attendance and proper behavior will be expected from all students. Students will be allowed to leave campus only with written parental approval in advance, specifying date, time, and destination. Mathworks personnel will supervise all students. Students are expected to follow all campus rules and regulations and to respect university property and facilities. Parents will be billed for any damage caused by their children's negligence. Students not following rules or not participating in classes will be sent home immediately after parents/guardians are notified of their impending arrival.

8. Medical Treatment: An excellent Student Health Center is located on the Texas State University campus should medical treatment be necessary. The Student Health Center is an in-network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare. Should your child require attention beyond the scope of the Student Health Center, the Central Texas Medical Center is a brief 5-10 minute ride from campus. Students are responsible for the cost of treatment provided by the Student Health Center. Parents must sign the Medical History and Release Forms, which should be submitted with your other paperwork. Note: Mathworks does not provide any medical insurance. 

9. Religious Services: There are several churches near campus. If you wish for your child to attend services, please let us know and we can inform you of nearby churches.

10. Absences:  Participants are required to attend for the full duration of the program and participate in all planned activities.  We strongly discourage overnight absences, as this takes away from the experiences of doing mathematics with peers and faculty.  Parents are welcome to visit for a day and take their student out to lunch or dinner, and we discourage longer absences. 

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Testimonials about the HSMC

  • "I really enjoyed the opportunity to take part in the HSMC as a camp counselor.  HSMC gave me the chance to help others learn the mathematics principles and logical thought processes.  However, I think more importantly I was given the chance to learn and practice the unique teaching techniques of my favorite professors.  These skills continue to come in handy during my graduate career.  HSMC helped me realize the degree to which I enjoyed teaching a gifted and interested group of young individuals, and influenced my decision to remain involved in education outreach." - Kellie, Texas State University alumna, class of 2008, math and physics major
  • "The HSMC has impacted me in a positive way because it has molded me into a better educator.  Having the opportunity to participate in the HSMC has allowed me to keep my math skills sharp and gather new ideas on how to engage students in the classroom.  It is important for Texas State to have this program for young students because it nurtures their math abilities and sets them up for future success in the math classes." - Nancy, Texas State University alumna, class of 2012, math major
  • "José [our son] has had an interest in math from a very young age. He and his grandfather would play math games in his younger years and he took great joy in those activities. At the end of his middle school years at a magnet program, he had a negative experience in an algebra class and quickly became discouraged despite having been successful in his earlier algebra classes. As he entered high school, he was drawn to his math classes again, but I didn't see the spark he previously had until his summer at the Honors Summer Math Camp (HSMC) program! Through conversations with him during camp, his father and I noticed how truly engaged he was in the program. He enjoyed the challenge and learning about the multiple opportunities math careers have to offer. Importantly, José felt that he belonged in a math culture, something with which he had struggled during those middle school years. He quickly connected to his peers and his peers to him (it was evident in the couple of on-campus office visits I received from him and his group). He continues to keep in touch with them both in person and through social media. As a parent, I am grateful for the truly caring instructors, the quality of work that is provided, and the entire structure of the program. As an adolescent researcher, I can attest to the great value this outreach program and programs like these bring to youths' healthy adjustment, across various developmental domains." - Dr. Melissa Delgado, Assistant Professor, Family and Child Development, Texas State University
  • "Camp has taught me that little things make a difference, and that by traveling in small steps, you can still reach great and amazing things." - Amy, 9th grader
  • "HSMC has taught me not only many new and interesting ways to solve a far greater variety of problems than I had ever seen before, but also to gain a new appreciation for mathematics." - Kevin, 9th grader
  • "HSMC has taught me to never give up.  Now I can sit for hours and think about different methods of solving the question." - Jessica, 9th grader
  • "Through the HSMC, I've gained a different and unique perspective about math, six weeks' worth of wonderful experiences, and of course, new friends!" - Savira, 10th grader
  • "From Study Group, I've grown to enjoy working in groups and realize that the simple act of bouncing ideas off other people can result in unexpected success." - Travis, 10th grader
  • "At school, we're encouraged to speed learn and see knowledge just as knowledge, nothing else.  Here at HSMC we learned that taking your time to solve a problem is a good thing, and that in the end, what's most important is how deeply you understand a concept." - Lilly, 10th grader
  • "HSMC helped me develop the ability to ask the person next to me no matter how intelligent they are.  It taught me that being the smartest person in the room didn't really matter as long as you put in as much effort as you possibly could." - Taylor, 10th grader
  • "Because of HSMC, I am much more excited about math than I was before.  This camp taught me perseverance in the face of difficult problems, a skill that is easily applicable to fields outside of math." - Andrew, 11th grader
  • "It was nice to see that there are people who really want to succeed just like me.  The expectations they have at camp are great and this has pushed me to succeed." - Madai, 10th grader
  • "After just a half day at HSMC, I knew that I would never look at a math problem the same way again." - Anna, 10th grader
  • "I now believe that for every problem there are multiple ways of looking at it, and multiple ways of solving it.  And finding a unique way of doing a problem is much better than a textbook solution." - Tyler, 10th grader
  • "My school focuses so much on helping students pass, it leaves little time for teachers to show students advancements in subjects.  Here at HSMC I got to meet kids who not only had a passion for math, but for other things as well.  This was different than any other camp activity I had ever done.  This challenged me to go beyond what I thought I was capable of." - Leah, 11th grader
  • "During these six weeks at HSMC I believe that I have developed my ability to do tough proofs and my perseverance has increased tenfold.  By working in groups, I learned how to deal with people who had different abilities and learning styles than me." - Alexandra, 10th grader
  • "HSMC has made me realize that it doesn't matter how much you get done, but how much you actually learn." - Ignacio, 10th grader
  • "HSMC has inspired a new curiosity in me to figure out not only how things work, but why." - Chloe, 11th grader
  • "Coming to the HSMC has been such an amazing experience.  Now I see how beautiful mathematics is.  There is order, and I have a greater appreciation for even the most simple and basic facts." - Raven, 11th grader
  • "As a Texas State graduate, I find myself often thinking back to the first day of my freshman year in Honors Number Theory and remembering how that day would affect the rest of my college career and my life after graduation.  Because of that class, I was given the opportunity to be a camp counselor in the HSMC.  I always wanted to be a teacher, which is why I chose to attend Texas State, but being a camp counselor at HSMC made me realize that I didn't want to be 'just' a teacher but a mentor and an inspiration to help young people fall in love with math.  It has been seven years since I graduated, but I will be forever grateful to the University and Mathworks for helping me become the teacher that I am today." - Sheri Remore, Texas State alumna, math major, class of 2006
  • "This program gives us a mini college experience.  Not only are we becoming more familiar in studying in places away from home, but we are also learning to be independent.  The HSMC has also influenced my career choice.  Although I do not have a specific choice in mind, I have decided that it would be a STEM career.”  - Kassy, 10th grader from the Rio Grande Valley
  • Not only does the HSMC program teach a high level of mathematics; it combines math with business in an extremely unique way.  Teaching young students the art of the elevator pitch is an invaluable lesson.  To communicate an idea in a quick and concise manner is a quality very few adults in the business world possess; to teach that concept at this level combined with a high level of mathematics truly sets Texas State University apart.“ 
    - Monica McNabb, Texas State alumna, CEO of McNabb & Co realty.
  • The Honors Summer Math Camp at Texas State University is a learning environment that surpasses any precollege program that I have ever seen. As an engineer and business executive, I am extremely impressed with the level of creativity and attention to detail included in the entrepreneurship projects, and look forward to seeing these students perform at an extremely high level in their future academic and business careers. Mathworks is a true win-win for young students and Texas State University.” - Earl Ingram, Ph.D., P.E., President, Ingram Readymix, Inc.
  • Young students that choose to spend their summers furthering their education clearly display a level of self-motivation that will serve them well throughout their lives. The Honors Summer Math Camp, and its entrepreneurship projects, challenge students to comprehend advanced concepts and convert ideas into marketable and operational business strategies. Mathworks is obviously attracting some of our brightest youth to Texas State University prior to completing their high school education.” - Bruce Ingram, Founder, Ingram Readymix, Inc.
  • Our daughter was engaged academically and socially, something which she had not experienced before. For the first time she [our daughter] had friends with similar interests and academic goals.  We have never seen her more engaged and animated than this past summer.  She has always been a good student and ambitious, but her experience this summer was in many respects transforming.  Mathworks has truly expanded her horizons.“ - Cecilia Castillo, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Texas State
  • Mathworks is one of the most amazing programs in education today.  It benefits graduates because they have an opportunity to give back by teaching to a new group. It benefits San Marcos by bringing in 60 of the brightest math minds to spend 6 weeks in San Marcos.  It benefits Texas State because Texas State has the opportunity to recruit internationally the best math minds available.  It benefits the business community because the program cultivates potential employees for those businesses who are desperate to employ math minded graduates. And, lastly it benefits the attendees.  They come from the rich and the poor, they cover all nationalities, and they come with amazing adult brains but with the problems of today’s children.  In Mathworks camp they have the opportunity and the support system to solve personal challenges of growing up in today’s world as well as solving the complicated math problems so needed in today’s universities and businesses. Mathworks is totally worth the money, time, and effort required for such a successful program.”  - Lisa Spencer, former President of the Friends of Fine Arts & Communication and Advisory Council member of Communication Studies at Texas State
  • "The Honors Summer Math Camp at Texas State University has been a key link in the pathway for alumni of the Summer Program in Mathematical Problem Solving.  Our mission is to prepare underserved students for advanced study and to help them continue the pathway towards becoming scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and programmers.  HSMC provides a supportive environment for our students to do advanced work in mathematics and scholarships for students to attend who otherwise might not be able to go.  With HSMC's individualized attention and self-paced problems, our alumni have found it a breakthrough next step as they continue their studies in mathematics." - Dan Zaharopol, Summer Program in Mathematical Problem Solving

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