SIM Camp FAQ

Please consider donating to the Department of Mathematics Outreach fund, which supports our Summer Illinois Math camp and other outreach initiatives. Your support helps our department fulfill Illinois’s land grant mission.

For campers and parents:

Is SIM Camp running this summer?

Yes! Per official university policy, we were unfortunately not able to run the 2020 Summer Illinois Mathematics (SIM) Camp as previously planned. However, we ran an online version of SIM Camp Epsilon from June 8th through June 12th and of SIM Camp Delta from June 22nd to June 26th. Though camp has ended, links to course materials and supplemental activities will be available on the schedule page during July and August.

Do I need to register to reserve a spot for the online version of SIM Camp?

Registration for camp has closed and both weeks of camp have concluded. There is no need to register in order to access posted course materials.

What should I do if the material says to work with group members or ask an instructor?

These materials were written for the weeks of camp that held regular zoom meetings, but unfortunately, that resource is no longer available, and we do not have the requisite ability to edit out these now-misleading references. In place of working with group members, we recommend you work on those activities with friends, classmates, and siblings, and in place of asking instructors, we recommend you search safely online.

Why aren't the staff members available during July and August?

The SIM Camp staff consists entirely of graduate and undergraduate students who have been obliged to move on to other responsibilities over the summer. We regret that we can not be available all summer long, but we appreciate your understanding that we are currently offering as much as we can.

What if I have questions about the material?

We can neither offer zoom meetings nor email support during this time, but we encourage you to search safely online and ask family or friends for help.

How much does SIM Camp cost?

SIM Camp 2020 is free for all participants!

Do I need to be on math team to enjoy SIM Camp?

No! While some of the topics will be similar to some competition math, most of it will be different. The problems that we do in camp can be open ended, and often have more than one solution. Campers are encouraged to spend a lot of time working in groups, and having different perspectives helps solve problems better!

Do I need to have good grades in math class to participate in SIM Camp?

No. SIM Camp is for students who are enthusiastic about math, and this does not always mean getting good grades. If you like making sense of ideas, looking for patterns, and figuring out why things work, SIM Camp is for you!

Is SIM Camp a good place to get tutoring or get ahead in school over the summer?

SIM Camp is not a tutoring program or summer school. It is an opportunity to play with fun mathematical ideas that are not usually covered in school.

What supplies do I need for SIM Camp?

The most useful supplies for the course content now available will be a compass (you can make your own here), a ruler (or other straightedge, such as a hardcover book, cereal box, etc), scissors (or other method for dividing paper, such as these), pen or pencil, and paper.

General

When is SIM Camp?

SIM Camp Epsilon (for rising 8th-10th graders) was from June 8-12. SIM Camp Delta (for rising 10th-12th graders) was from June 22-26. SIM Camp hours were from 9am-4:15pm CDT, with plenty of breaks for lunch and relaxing. Certain course materials will be made available during the months of July and August 2020.

Who runs SIM Camp?

SIM Camp is run by graduates students in the University of Illinois Department of Mathematics. The courses are developed and run by graduate students and undergraduate assistant instructors.

How is SIM Camp funded?

We are funded by grants from Mathematical Association of America. We also receive support from the University of Illinois Department of Mathematics and the Department of Mathematics Outreach fund, with in-kind support from the Illinois Geometry Lab and the University of Illinois student chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics. For 2019, SIM Camp is also supported by camper tuition.

If you interested in supporting SIM Camp, please consider donating to the Department of Mathematics Outreach fund, which supports our Camp and other outreach initiatives. Your support helps our department fulfill Illinois’s land grant mission.

For instructors and assistant instructors:

Do you provide housing?

We do not provide housing. In the past, instructors and assistants have either already had an apartment on campus for the summer, have sub-let one, or have stayed with a friend.

Can I take a class/have another job during this time?

The University does not allow anyone registered for at least 3 credit hours to work more than 28 hours a week.

We expect assistant instructors to work 9-5 during the seven weeks of employment. For instructors, we expect you to be available 9-5 during the weeks you are planning and teaching, and for 4 hours a day during pedagogy training. 

Can international students work? What if I’m on fellowship?

International students are welcome! We will also work with students on fellowship, but it is your responsibility to know the rules of your fellowship. For example, some fellowships might view Camp as fulfillment of a teaching or service requirement, but you would be paid by the fellowship. Others might require you defer the fellowship for the summer, and some might not allow it.

Can I teach a course that has been previously taught?

We want campers to be able to come back year after year. Let us know if you want to learn more about teaching previous courses. You can find a list of previous courses in the previous summers page.

Sponsors

Support is provided by:

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DMS-1449269.

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