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Teaching Math in Society
Teaching Math in Society through Freedom Education Project Puget Sound
Jump to the complete list of outreach programs.

The department has a rich collection of outreach activities near and far involving our faculty and students.

Since 1991, the department has run an annual Mathday for high school students and their teachers across the state, led for over two decades by Jim Morrow. It now welcomes 1500 students each year, with space filling up the day registration opens. The day begins with a plenary lecture by a UW mathematician or scientist after which students disperse across campus for concurrent lectures by faculty on topics in the mathematical sciences, panel discussions on careers in mathematics or the experiences of undergraduate mathematics students, or field trips to laboratories and facilities where mathematics is put to use every day.

Under the leadership of Julia Pevtsova, the department runs several outreach programs for middle and junior high school students in the Seattle area. The UW Math Circle is a weekly math enrichment program at UW serving Seattle students in grades 7 to 9 since 2010. In the spring, we offer Math Hour Talks, a series of popular Sunday lectures taking place on campus once a month. These lead up to the Math Hour Olympiad, a Russian-style oral mathematical competition for 5th to 10th graders in which the students have the valuable opportunity to discuss their solutions and approaches to highly non-trivial problems with volunteer mathematicians who help out with the event. For many students this is their first introduction to rigorous mathematical thinking.

Through the department’s new Washington Experimental Mathematics Lab, established by Jayadev Athreya, faculty join with graduate students, undergraduates, and community members on a journey of mathematical discovery. Even undergraduates with modest mathematical backgrounds can collaborate on projects that are experimental, computational, and often visual, coming to understand mathematics as a creative discipline. Participants are encouraged to present their work across the community. In addition, WXML is partnering with Math for Love to bring Math Circles to elementary and middle school teachers in the Seattle area.

Since 2003, we have run the Summer Institute for Mathematics at UW (SIMUW), a six-week residential program for talented high school students in the Pacific Northwest that provides them with the opportunity to acquire a full appreciation of the nature of mathematics: its wide-ranging content, the intrinsic beauty of its ideas, the nature of mathematical argument and rigorous proof, the surprising power of mathematics within the sciences and beyond. Acquiring a profound understanding of the depth and beauty of mathematics can be a transforming experience for a student, whatever interests the student may intend to pursue in the future, and this is the experience SIMUW is designed to provide.

Neal Koblitz is a co-founder of the Kovalevskaia Fund, whose main objective is to encourage women scientists in developing countries. The Fund's activities range from scholarships for high school girls in low-income areas of Peru to giving prizes for accomplishments in math and science in Vietnam, Mexico, Cuba, and southern Africa. In addition to providing concrete support for women researchers, students, and educators, the Fund has had a major influence at the institutional level: as a direct result of its activities, the Mexican Mathematical Society formed an "Equity and Gender Commission,"  the Cuban Academy of Sciences formed a "Women's Commission,'' and the Vietnam Women's Union formed an "Association of Intellectual Women.''

In the spring of 2015, the Latinos in the Mathematical Sciences conference was held in Los Angeles at the Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics. The brainchild of Tatiana Toro, it was organized with the goal of encouraging Latina/os to pursue careers in the mathematical sciences, to promote the advancement of Latina/os currently in the discipline, to showcase research being conducted by Latina/os at the forefront of their fields, and to build a community around shared academic interests. Planning for a second conference, to take place in April 2018, is now underway.

Faculty and graduate students have been participating in the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound, a rigorous college program inside the Washington Correction Center for Women (WCCW) that works to increase access to educational opportunities for prisoners and former prisoners in Washington State.

One source of outreach within the university is our lecture series MathAcrossCampus, which features prominent speakers from UW and elsewhere. The goals of the series are to expose students and faculty to the widespread use of mathematics in applications and to create a community of mathematics users and experts within the UW community who might otherwise not be aware of each other's presence. 


The Washington Directed Reading Program (WDRP) is modeled after successful Directed Reading Programs (DRPs) at other universities around the country. This program will pair interested undergraduate students with mathematics graduate student mentors to embark on a quarter-long independent reading project.


The Washington Experimental Mathematics Lab is a group of mathematical explorers, with faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and community members coming together for a journey of discovery. We showcase mathematics as a creative discipline, via experimental, computational, and especially visual mathematics.

UW Mathday

An annual one-day program for high school students during UW Spring Break.

UW Math Circle

The UW Math Circle is intended for Seattle-area 7th, 8th, and 9th graders with mathematical minds, with the intent of continuing their development in this direction.

UW Math Hour

Each spring, Seattle-area middle- and junior high-school students are invited to participate in the UW Math Hour on the University of Washington's campus. The UW Math Hour is a series of talks which introduce students to the beautiful and exciting world of mathematics.


Summer Institute for Mathematics at the University of Washington - A summer program for high school students: "Getting a glimpse of the depth and beauty of mathematics can be a transforming experience for a student, whatever interests the student may intend to pursue in the future.


A quarterly colloquium series at the University of Washington to showcase applications of mathematics, with a special emphasis on the growing role of discrete methods in math applications.

Freedom Education Project Puget Sound

FEPPS provides a rigorous college program to incarcerated women in Washington.

Kovalevskaia Fund

The Kovalevskaia Fund is a small foundation which aims to encourage women in science and technology in developing countries.

Latinos in the Mathematical Sciences Conference

A conference showcasing the achievements of Latina/os in the mathematical sciences.

Math for Love

A Seattle-based company devoted to making available the best, deepest, and most beautiful ideas in math to everyone.

Teaching/Learning Newsletter

A newsletter from Virginia Warfield of the UW Math Department.

Washington Teachers of Teachers of Mathematics (WaToToM)

Washington Teachers of Teachers of Math (WaToToM) is a group concerned with how best to prepare future teachers of K-12 mathematics. You may also find interesting the education-related programs offered by UW Professional and Continueing Education (PCE).