How many years the programme had been conducted in the past?
The programme is being conducted every summer since 1993.
What is the basis of selection for participating in the programme?
The selection depends mainly on the following two criteria:
(i) a consistent academic record and
(ii) the recommendation letter of the teacher.
The selection is very much influenced by the specifics rather than by the general recommendations in the letter.
How are the participants assigned the centers?
Based on geographical reasons and exam schedules of the students. The applicant should mention the tentative dates of the examinations, if he wants us to consider this aspect while assigning him the centre.
Is there any fee to be paid by the students?
Absolutely none. In fact, the programme reimburse their travel (sleeper/2nd class railway fare by the shortest route) and also gives free lodging and food during the period of the programme. The participants are usually accommodated in the hostels of the host institution. There will be separate hostels for boys and girls.
Is there any scholarship for successful students?
No, there will not be any scholarship for the students after their successful completion of the programme.
Will the participants receive any certificate at the end of the programme?
Yes, all participants who attended the programme for the entire period will receive a certificate of participation.
Will the programme help the students in getting jobs? getting admissions in good institutions?
The main aim of the programme is to train the students so that they can work independently, achieve certain level of confidence in the learning/understanding mathematics and to give them a perspective. We do NOT think of this programme as a job-training programme of any kind. However, the knowledge and attitude acquired during the programme, if further cultivated by the participants, seem to help them achieve better goals in academic career.
How are the courses different from the ones we have at the colleges?
Radically different. In fact, it takes about three days for the participants to get used to our way of doing things.
The faculty is from various leading institutions of the country and is not confined to the institute of the venue. People who are experts in the field, who are known for their teaching and have a commitment towards high quality mathematics in India are chosen to give the courses. As a rule each course is taught by a single expert. This paves the way for better interaction (over a period of 4 weeks) between the faculty and students and also imparts a perspective of the field among the students. The faculty is requested to be present for all the sessions — not for their sessions only! In the problem sessions all students are asked to do problems. All the four teachers of a level will actively help the students during the problem sessions. The teachers identify the difficulties of the individual students. Giving individual attention is one of the unique features of this programme. Some reading material is also provided.
The teacher keeps on asking questions, sometimes well-formulated, sometimes vague, to give you a taste of how mathematics is discovered. He most often develops a proof from the ideas given by the students and asks them to write in the way a text book will present it. There will be a great deal of pressure on you to think on your own and take active participation in the course.
Unless you are really keen and ready to work very hard , please do not apply for the programme. For, in the past, many students were totally shaken by our approach and were unable to cope with the pressure. But if you are seriously interested in pursuing higher mathematics, this programme will be immensely useful to you.
The programme also provides a platform for students with (linguistically, culturally and mathematically) varied back-ground to come together and interact with peers and experts in the field. This serves two purposes: i) the participants come to know where they stand academically and what they have to do to bring out their full potential and ii) they establish a rapport with other participants and teachers which help them shape their career in mathematics. This allows them to see for themselves how they compare with other students.
Are there tests at the end of the programme?
None. It is our belief that one should learn mathematics for its own sake and for the love of it rather than focusing one’s attention on the tests.
What subjects are taught? Are they pure or applied?
The emphasis is on the so-called pure mathematics. The courses are on algebra, analysis, geometry, number theory, topology. The medium of instruction is English. It is very essential that the participants should be able to communicate in English, at least in mathematics.
Do we have to have a great deal of back-ground in mathematics?
No. The courses are usually designed in such a way that 50% of the concepts may be already familiar to most of the students. The main aim of the course, as was mentioned above, is to promote thinking. As a matter of fact, it was observed in the previous programmes that the students who learn a topic for the first time in the programme have performed well as the courses progressed. It is not our aim to introduce a lot of jargon to the students. In stead, we introduce the very basic concepts and train the students thoroughly.
Can we join the programme a few days after the inaugural day?
As mentioned earlier, it takes about three days for the students to get used our method of teaching. Anybody who joins the programme after the third day is at a distinct disadvantage, as the other participants would be in a better position to participate in the discussions. He will also feel miserable due to his inability to participate actively. Hence, as a rule, nobody is allowed to join the programme after th third day. The only exceptions would be former participants who performed well in the previous camp.
Can we contact you, if necessary?
My phone numbers are ((040) 6679 4059 (office) and (040) 6460 9022(residence). Please call me between 6:30 A.M. and 10 P.M. You may write to me on email: mttsprogramme AT gmail.com OR kumaresa AT gmail.com
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