University of Illinois summer camp gets teens excited about math

SIM Camp, hosted annually by the Department of Mathematics, teaches complex math concepts to middle and high school students

URBANA, Ill.—Research suggests that participation in math and science outreach programs can help reduce students’ anxiety about math, leading to more positive attitudes toward the subject.

The Summer Illinois Math (SIM) Camp is a week-long math camp for middle and high school students hosted by the Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Campers will see the creative, discovery-driven side of mathematics. By showing them some of the ways mathematicians approach problems, SIM Camp hopes to encourage them to continue studying math beyond the high school level.

This year’s SIM Camp courses will cover interesting topics such as cryptography and cryptanalysis, teaching students about different types of ciphers and showing them how to encrypt, decrypt, and break them. Through fun and engaging activities, students will also be introduced to concepts associated with complex mathematics such as number theory and combinatorics.

The camp will be divided between two groups: students who will enter grades 8–10 next fall are invited to join SIM Camp Epsilon, occurring June 12–16, 2023; students entering grades 10–12—and have taken at least one year of algebra—are welcome to join SIM Camp Delta, occurring June 26–30.

The cost to attend SIM Camp is $210 per student, although scholarships are available. “We will provide students with lunch each day, and we are also able to reimburse students for the cost of daily travel to camp,” says Manisha Garg, director of this year’s SIM Camp.

Applications for SIM Camp 2023 are open now. Students may apply to the camp online.

Garg says that camp organizers will begin considering applications after April 30 and start sending decisions to students by May 5. “We will continue accepting applications until all camps are full.”

Students who will require an accommodation to participate should email Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.


Source: Manisha Garg, 2023 SIM Camp Director

Writer: Shelby Koehne, Communication Coordinator, Department of Mathematics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


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