Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT PRIMES (Program for Research in Mathematics, Engineering and Science for High School Students)

Program ID: MITPrimes-STEP [#954]
Program Title: PRIMES STEP
Program Type: Other
Program Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States [map]
Subject Area: Mathematics
Starting Date: 2021/01/01
Application Deadline: 2020/12/01 11:59PMhelp popup** (posted 2020/03/30, updated 2020/02/21)
Program Description:    

PRIMES STEP (Solve–Theorize–Explore–Prove) is your step into the world of mathematical discovery. It is a program for curious 7-9 graders who like solving challenging problems and are ready to explore advanced math topics.

The goal of our program is to use mathematics to expand the students' minds and encourage their creative thinking. We will not repeat the middle-school math curriculum. We will solve a lot of problems that are tricky, logical, fun, and might potentially be asked at a Wall Street interview.

In addition to solving problems like these, we will cover some ideas and methods for solving olympiad-style problems. We will also try to simulate the research process by inventing new problems and being the first to solve them. We will even learn an occasional magic trick. The main goal is to have fun!

The instructor is Dr. Tanya Khovanova, Lecturer in the MIT Department of Mathematics, MIT PRIMES head mentor, and an active researcher in the field of recreational mathematics.

Entrance Quiz

Selection will be based on all components of your application and the results of the entrance quiz.

The PRIMES STEP online entrance quiz will be conducted over Zoom on Sunday, August 23, 11am-12pm EDT. All registered applicants will be invited to the quiz. Right after the quiz, from 12pm to 1pm, we will hold a Q&A session for students and parents with the MIT PRIMES Director Dr. Slava Gerovitch and PRIMES Head Mentor Dr. Tanya Khovanova.

Students on the short list will be notified by Tuesday, August 25. Within the next few days, Dr. Tanya Khovanova will conduct online interviews with students on the short list. Admission decisions will be made by Friday, August 28.

The first STEP sessions of the 2020-21 academic year will be held on Monday, August 31 (for the STEP Junior group) and on Thursday, September 3 (for the STEP Senior group). Due to the large volume of applications, we unfortunately won’t be able to comment on individual applications or release the quiz results. Solutions to the quiz will not be posted.

Tuition for the 2020/21 academic year is $2,100 per year, including $100 registration fee and two installments of $1,000 (due in September and in January).

Special Instructions for Applicants

Do not upload folders with your application. The system will not process them. Use individual files only.

Ignore the questions: “Current Institution”; “Department”; “Location”; "Current Position Title"; "Highest Degree Held"; “Date” on the cover sheet. These are generic questions that are not relevant to the STEP program.

Please ask your teacher or another person familiar with your math background to write a letter of recommendation for you. Enter the name and email of this person on the standard cover sheet under "Reference Writer". The system will automatically email them a request for a letter.

If you have any additional supporting materials you can upload them under "Optional Supporting Materials".

If you have any questions about your application, please contact PRIMES Admissions Assistant Andre Dixon at

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the program description.

Further Info:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mathematics Department
77 Massachusetts Ave.
Building 2, Room 2-430A
Cambridge, MA 02139

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