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Focus on Math Showcase

Making Math Count


In January's annual State of the Union address, President Bush warned that American students are continually falling behind countries such as India and China in science and mathematics achievement. The president called for increased teacher training and for more collaboration between educators and researchers in both fields.

At Boston University, two programs -- PROMYS, founded in 1989, and Focus on Math, launched in 2003 -- target that concern. PROMYS, or Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists, brings high school students and teachers to campus for an intensive summer program in creative mathematics. Focus on Math, funded by the National Science Foundation, fosters a partnership among BU, the Education Development Center, Lesley University, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the school districts of Arlington, Chelsea, Lawrence, Waltham, and Watertown. BU Today talked to Glenn Stevens, a professor of mathematics and statistics in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of both programs, about the national problems and BU's solutions.