From Stephanie Mosier of Xavier University:
I participated in the Carleton/St. Olaf Summer Math Program for Women during the summer after my sophomore year, 1999. It was a great experience. There were 18 participants and 2 teacher assistants (who were alums of the program). The 20 of us lived on a floor of a dorm on the campus of Carleton College, in Northfield, MN.
The program consists of two courses-when I participated they were Game Theory and Low Dimensional Dynamics. We attended class for 3 hours in the morning-Mon., Wed. and half of Fri. was Game Theory and then Tues., Thurs. and half of Fri. was Low Dimensional Dynamics. The classes were proof intensive and very interesting-they covered topics I otherwise would not have been introduced to as an undergraduate.
Then on Mon. nights we had optional problem solving sessions which were fun-the last Mon. of the program, our prof invited us to his house and we did puzzles and played card games. On Tues. afternoons, we had a panel discussion--we covered topics such as succeeding as a math major, graduate school, and career opportunities. Then on Tues. and Thurs., we had colloquia and ate dinner as a group-profs, directors, the guest speaker, participants, and TAs. On Wed. nights, Deanna, the director, came up to our lounge in the dorm to chat about how the program was going, etc.
On the weekends, the directors planned social events such as going to the Mall of America, going tubing on rivers (which is lots of fun!), hiking, going to the Minnesota zoo, etc. And we had some free days, too.
Also, we received a stipend, and our travel, room, and board was paid for the month.
The program was an amazing experience. It was great to meet so many women who were interested in math and wanted to learn more about opportunities for math majors. We still keep in touch via email, and I have seen some participants at various math conferences.
From Sarah Crown of Bryn Mawr College:
The Carleton/St. Olaf Summer Program for Undergraduate Women is an extraordinary, month long, math program for rising juniors. During the week, the participants take two classes and attend colloquia and panels; weekends are spent on fieldtrips, getting to know the other participants and professors. There is no research involved, but nightly homework is assigned. Further, there is a stipend of $1300.
As a participant last year, I thought the experience was absolutely incredible! It was amazing to meet so many enthusiastic women math majors, to learn about two areas of mathematics which I had not previously been exposed to, and to explore options for after graduation. I would highly recommend the program to any rising junior who has a love of mathematics!
From Jackie Anderson of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln:
The Carleton/St. Olaf Program is awesome. The program lasts four weeks in July and is a mix of mathematics and non-math fun. When I attended (in the summer of 1998), we went canoeing and tubing and hiking among many other things.
The environment for women is, of course, great since it's a program for women. The people who run the program care about you as a person and as a woman mathematician. They also bring many outstanding women mathematicians from across the U.S. to the program to give colloquium talks so you end up meeting tons of people even though you're in Northfield, MN and you're just about the only students left in town.
You do receive a stipend for participating in the program. While you're there you take two classes. My group took Dynamical Systems and Coding Theory. The classes were great. We cover a lot of material in only four weeks, but it wasn't too fast that we got swamped.
This program is only for women finishing their first or second year, and the organizers are planning on taking a sabbatical next year (2002) so freshman this year (2001) should apply or they might miss their only chance to attend.