Frequently Asked Questions

Program Questions

  1. What is the Ross Mathematics Program?
  2. Is admission automatic?
  3. Are scholarships available?

Living Arrangements

  1. Where do the students live?
  2. What is the mailing address?
  3. How are the dorm rooms furnished?
  4. Is there a curfew?
  5. Are the students segregated from traditional Ohio State students?
  6. What are the security arrangements in the dorm?
  7. Are there life counselors (as opposed to math counselors)? Someone to check that they are eating right, doing laundry, cleaning their room, etc.?
  8. What do they eat? Where do they eat? How often do they eat? Are there any accommodations for my child’s special dietary needs, such as diabetes, peanut allergy, gluten intolerance, vegetarianism, etc.?

Packing List

  1. What do students need to bring?
  2. How do most students handle money – cash, credit cards, ATMs?
  3. What expenses are not covered in the program fees? Do you have a suggested/recommended additional spending allowance?
  4. Is there shopping within easy access?
  5. Are laptop computers encouraged? What about other electronic devices?

Transportation

  1. What is the transportation around campus? To/from lectures and the dorm?
  2. Where are the math lectures and seminars held?
  3. Is there transportation to/from the airport if an attendee flies in or out unaccompanied?
  4. Do some students bring cars? Are there restrictions on students riding with other students?
  5. Do students bring/use bicycles?

Health Concerns

  1. Is a physical examination required?
  2. Do we need health insurance?
  3. Is there a nurse on duty/doctors on call?
  4. Is there a campus clinic students can attend for minor problems?
  5. Is there a pharmacy on campus?

Recreation

  1. Are there events planned for nights and weekends? Is social interaction encouraged?
  2. Do you conduct field trips to other locations?
  3. Are parents allowed/ encouraged to make mid-session visits to campus?

International Concerns

  1. Do you accept international students?
  2. What sort of visa is needed?

Just Curious

  1. How many students are admitted to the Program?
  2. What is the ratio of boys to girls?
  3. What is the average age? What is the age spread? Is my child too young/old?
  4. Where do the students come from?
  5. Is the Ross Program like PROMYS, Canada/USA Mathcamp, HCSSiM, SUMaC, etc?

Program Questions

  1. What is the Ross Mathematics Program?
  2. Is admission automatic?
  3. Are scholarships available?

 

1. What is the Ross Mathematics Program?

This Program is a six-week residential session for high school students who are talented in mathematics, well prepared in standard high school math topics, and eager to explore more advanced ideas. Participants spend most of each day working on challenging sets of problems dealing with abstract mathematical concepts. By working for several weeks on one subject (number theory), participants delve deeply into the underpinnings of that subject. But more importantly, they learn to communicate mathematical ideas clearly and to write convincing proofs of all of their assertions. One goal of this program is to provide a first step toward independent mathematical research. It is not oriented toward math contests and direct competition between students is avoided.

2. Is admission automatic?

The admission process is competitive. Typically, fewer than one-third of the applicants are accepted. Each successful applicant has a strong high school record and exhibits excellent work on the mathematical problems that form part of the application.

3. Are scholarships available?

The Ross Program is able to provide some scholarship support to qualified students who cannot otherwise afford to attend. Requests for support should be made after a student has been accepted to the Program.
Various academic institutions in the applicant’s home city or state might also have available scholarships. In addition, the national high school mathematical society, Mu Alpha Theta (www.mualphatheta.org/variousfile-ish/Grants.pdf), has some scholarship support for participation in math programs. Other scholarship opportunities include the Davidson Institute (www.davidsongifted.org) and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (www.jkcf.org).

 


Living Arrangements

  1. Where do the students live?
  2. What is the mailing address?
  3. How are the dorm rooms furnished?
  4. Is there a curfew?
  5. Are the students segregated from traditional Ohio State students?
  6. What are the security arrangements in the dorm?
  7. Are there life counselors (as opposed to math counselors)? Someone to check that they are eating right, doing laundry, cleaning their room, etc.?
  8. What do they eat? Where do they eat? How often do they eat? Are there any accommodations for my child’s special dietary needs, such as diabetes, peanut allergy, gluten intolerance, vegetarianism, etc.?

 

1. Where do the students live?

Students live in one of the dormitories on the campus of the Ohio State University in Columbus. Students typically share a room with one roommate. We try to arrange for roommates to have about the same level of mathematical experience. These assignments usually match the ages of the students, but not always.

2. What is the mailing address?

The mailing address for Ross Program participants is:

(participant’s name)
Ross Math Program
OSU Math Department
231 W. 18th Ave
Columbus, OH 43210-1174

This Math Department address is more reliable than the dormitory address.

3. How are the dorm rooms furnished?

The building is air-conditioned. Each participant has a single bed, desk and chair, and some closet space, and is provided two sheets, pillow and pillowcase, blanket, towel, and washcloth. Students provide their own clothes hangers, shampoo, soap and other personal items such as an alarm clock.

4. Is there a curfew?

All students must remain inside the dormitory after dark and should not leave the campus at any time unless absolutely necessary and in the company of a counselor.

5. Are the students segregated from traditional Ohio State students?

The Ross Mathematics Program usually almost fills up one or two floors of the dormitory. But college students live nearby and some of them attend summer classes. Various other academic and athletic camps for a wide range of ages are held on campus. Their participants arrive and leave throughout the summer and some of them will occupy the same building.

6. What are the security arrangements in the dorm?

The dormitory is locked, accessible only by key card, and each bedroom has its own lock and key. In spite of these arrangements there is always some potential for theft or other crime, so we advise students not to avoid bringing valuable items or large amounts of cash.

7. Are there life counselors (as opposed to math counselors)? Someone to check that students are eating right, doing laundry, cleaning their room, etc.?

Ross counselors and students live in the same dormitory. Counselors provide supervision, but we expect students to be mature enough to choose what and when they eat, do their own laundry, keep themselves and their rooms clean, and get enough sleep. If someone is not mature enough to do these things, or distracts other students from their mathematical work, we arrange for that student to leave the program and return home.

8. What do they eat? Where do they eat? How often do they eat? Are there any accommodations for my child’s special dietary needs, such as diabetes, peanut allergy, gluten intolerance, vegetarianism, etc.?

Each participant receives a meal card to purchase food. Close to the dorm there is a traditional, cafeteria-style dining hall, offering two entrees per meal with assorted side dishes, beverages, and a full salad bar. Several other places on campus also accept meal cards, such as the restaurants in the Ohio Union. Menus are posted on the Dining Services web site.

 


 

Packing List

  1. What do students need to bring?
  2. How do most students handle money – cash, credit cards, ATMs?
  3. What expenses are not covered in the program fees? Do you have a suggested/recommended additional spending allowance?
  4. Is there shopping within easy access?
  5. Are laptop computers encouraged? What about other electronic devices?

 

1. What do students need to bring?

Sheets, blanket, pillow, pillowcase, towel, and washcloth are provided. Students need to bring their own shampoo, soap, etc. They also need to bring clothes appropriate for a Columbus summer, including a jacket and rain gear. A certain amount of cash is needed for laundry, snacks, and souvenirs.

2. How do most students handle money – cash, credit cards, ATMs?

Students may use ATMs to withdraw cash from home accounts. If there is a problem, one of the staff members can take the student to a bank to help him or her cash a personal check, traveler’s check, or money order.

3. What expenses are not covered in the program fees? Do you have a suggested/recommended additional spending allowance?

Washers and dryers in the dorm require cash (approximately $2.50 per load) and you need your own detergent. There is not much more that students are required to buy. Some students purchase extra food, souvenirs, books, etc.

4. Is there shopping within easy access?

There are stores nearby, but students are asked not to leave the campus unless accompanied by a counselor. If special items are needed from the grocery or elsewhere, a counselor accompanies the student to the store. There is a CVS pharmacy and a University Bookstore on campus.

5. Are laptop computers encouraged? What about other electronic devices?

All the mathematical ideas presented in the Ross Program are investigated with pencil and paper. Students are NOT allowed to bring computers, electronic tablets, TV sets, video game systems, DVD players, etc. We ask students to refrain from using smart phones, and to avoid borrowing computers for searching websites, surfing, computing, or playing games. Some computers are available in the dorm for checking email.

 


 

Transportation

  1. What is the transportation around campus? To/from lectures and the dorm?
  2. Where are the math lectures and seminars held?
  3. Is there transportation to/from the airport if an attendee flies in or out unaccompanied?
  4. Do some students bring cars? Are there restrictions on students riding with other students?
  5. Do students bring/use bicycles?

 

1. What is the transportation around campus? To/from lectures and the dorm?

All travel on campus is by walking.

2. Where are the math lectures and seminars held?

The lectures and seminars are usually held in campus building within a few blocks of  the dormitory.

3. Is there transportation to/from the airport if an attendee flies in or out unaccompanied?

We meet students at the Columbus airport (CMH) and drive them to the dorm. At the end of the summer, we provide transportation back to the airport.

4. Do some students bring cars? Are there restrictions on students riding with other students?

First-year students are not allowed to bring cars.

5. Do students bring/use bicycles?

First-year students are not allowed to bring bicycles, or skateboards.

 


 

Health Concerns

  1. Is a physical examination required?
  2. Do we need health insurance?
  3. Is there a nurse on duty/doctors on call?
  4. Is there a campus clinic that students can attend for minor problems?
  5. Is there a pharmacy on campus?

 

1. Is a physical required?

No. But we need to know of any existing medical conditions, so a health history is required.

2. Do we need health insurance?

Each student must have medical insurance with coverage in Columbus, Ohio. Proof of insurance is required. If you do not have adequate coverage, we can suggest places to purchase short-term health insurance.

3. Is there a nurse on duty/doctors on call?

For any medical concerns, Wilce Student Health Center and The Ohio State University Medical Center are on campus. If a student is sick or injured, a counselor or staff member will transport and accompany them to the hospital or clinic.

4. Is there a campus clinic that they can attend for minor problems?

Yes, the Wilce Student Health Center clinic is on the central campus, about six blocks from the dorm.

5. Is there a pharmacy on campus?

There is a CVS pharmacy on campus, within walking distance of the dorm.


 

Recreation

  1. Are events planned for nights and weekends? Is social interaction encouraged?
  2. Do you conduct field trips to other locations?
  3. Are parents allowed/ encouraged to make mid-session visits to campus?

 

1. Are there events planned for nights and weekends? Is social interaction encouraged?

Counselors organize some informal activities like Ultimate Frisbee games each Friday, and a Talent Show. However, students are expected to spend most of their waking hours working on the mathematical problem sets. Weekends are spent mostly catching up on problem sets that weren’t completed during the week. When they are not concentrating on math, students are welcome to use the University libraries and other open campus spaces.

2. Do you conduct field trips to other locations?

We usually organize a couple of Program events – an off-campus fireworks trip on Independence Day, and the Annual Ross Picnic.

3. Are parents allowed/ encouraged to make mid-session visits to campus?

We strongly discourage overnight absences for Ross students. Students build up momentum working full-time on hard problems. That momentum is halted when a student takes a day or two off. Parents are certainly welcome to visit for a day and take students out to dinner. But movies or similar events tend to distract students from mathematical motivations and interests. They can watch movies and TV at home, after the Ross Program is over. This policy might seem stringent:  The point is to get students excited about mathematical ideas and to concentrate all of their energy on solving interesting math problems.

 


International Concerns

  1. Do you accept international students?
  2. What sort of visa is needed?

 

1. Do you accept international students?

Every year, a several students from outside the U.S. are accepted to the Ross Program. They are highly talented, eager to learn abstract mathematical ideas, and fluent in English. Some financial aid is available for excellent students, but we can rarely provide support for travel expenses.

2. What sort of visa is needed?

Students at the Ross Mathematics Program are not registered as college students, and do not receive official credit from the University. This Program is a ‘mathematical vacation’ so you may use a tourist visa (B-2).

 


 

Just Curious

  1. How many students are admitted to the Program?
  2. What is the ratio of boys to girls?
  3. What is the average age? What is the age spread? Is my child too young/old?
  4. Where do the students come from?
  5. Is the Ross Program like PROMYS, Canada/USA Mathcamp, HCSSiM, SUMaC, etc?

 

1. How many students are admitted to the Program?

We admit approximately 60 first-year students, supported by about a dozen junior counselors and about 16 counselors.

2. What is the ratio of boys to girls?

Most years, about one-fourth of the participants are female.

3. What is the average age? What is the age spread? Is my child too young/old?

Nearly all first-year students are 15 to 18 years old, and the average age is usually 16 or 17. We occasionally admit some exceptionally mature 14 year olds, as well as some students who have already graduated from high school.

4. Where do the students come from?

Ross participants come from all over the United States, and every year we have students from China, South Korea, and India. We’ve also had students from other countries, including Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Israel, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey.

5. How does the Ross Program compare to other summer math programs like PROMYS, Canada/USA Mathcamp, HCSSiM, SUMaC, etc?

Prominent summer math programs for high school students are listed on the mathcamps page run by the American Mathematical Society.
A key feature of the Ross Program is that the students concentrate deeply on just one subject for the entire session. We are convinced that this level of focus and depth is far more valuable than short overviews of many different topics.

PROMYS at Boston University is the one most similar to the Ross Program.