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Math 15SP

Calculus I - STEM Scholars Program

Math 15SP class in Fall, 2018

Math 15SP class, Fall 2018

Math 15SP will provide an enriched experience for students in first-semester calculus (Math 15) who want to excel in science, engineering, or math. Students must apply to get into Math 15SP, and entrance to the course will be determined by a commitment to both hard work and excellence rather than by high school GPA, math SAT scores, or past performance in math classes.

Math 15SP is modeled after the Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) developed at Berkeley in the late 1970's by mathematician Uri Treisman; since then, more than 100 schools across the U.S. have adapted ESP to fit the unique needs of the students at their own institutions. Each of these programs shares the common mission of pro-actively facilitating the development of the advanced study skills necessary for success in science at the college level while simultaneously giving the firm quantitative foundation science fields require. Our adaptation aims to offer a fun, challenging, rewarding experience to science students who place into Math 15.

Here’s what some prior students had to say about their experiences:

The…attachment was the best part of Math 15 for me personally and made me enjoy the class rather than simply drift through it.  The level of the problems and the time taken in working them out made the standard class problems seem easier and increased my retention rate on topics.

The most important thing I learned [in Math 15SP] was how to study math. In high school it was mostly about learning how to compute, while in college math is taught through concepts, from fundamentals of theory building to applications and computations. The attachment forced me to really understand the underlying concepts before I was able to solve the harder problems given in the workshop. This shift has been incredibly important, as it has allowed me to succeed both in my mathematics courses as well as those in my major. 

I found that through my conversations of the material with my group members, I was able to gain a better grasp of the material we covered in class. Succeeding in any math course requires a considerable amount of practice and [Math 15SP] allowed me to consistently practice my understanding of the material through contextualized problems.

In Fall 2019, Math 15SP will meet Monday and Wednesday afternoons, from 2:40 - 3:55pm, during which students work together in groups on  problems designed to deepen understanding of the material and how to apply it to other disciplines. Additional academic and social events may be held throughout the semester. We invite a diverse group of students to apply to Math 15SP; those who are accepted will receive .5 credits, in addition to the 1 credit they will earn for their concurrent Math 15 course.

Any student planning to enroll in Math 15 who is interested in Math 15SP is eligible to apply.  Access the online application form by clicking here.   If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Professor Cheryl Grood (cgrood1@swarthmore.edu);  she would be happy to discuss Math 15SP with you.