# FAQ

## Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Husky Math Academy?

The Husky Math Academy (HMA) is a program based at University of Washington that offers rigorous and challenging math classes for students in grades 7-9 who want to deepen their understanding of mathematics through problem solving.

How is HMA different from other programs?

While many other programs focus narrowly on school advancement or contests, we focus on helping students develop a strong foundation and well-balanced education in elementary mathematics beyond the standard school curriculum. Our classes cover topics in algebra, geometry, number theory, combinatorics, and mathematical proof. We believe the best way to study mathematics is through individual problem solving and thorough group discussions led by experienced instructors.

Who is eligible for HMA? Who should apply?

Students must be entering grades 7-9 and have demonstrated mastery of elementary algebra ("Algebra 1").

We aim to help students who:

are looking for a deeper and more challenging math class than what their school provides;

love math and are excited to work on difficult problems both in class and at home.

Who are the instructors?

The instructors of HMA are UW faculty, local professionals, and experienced math coaches with extensive background in mathematical problem solving and education.

What is the time commitment?

Students commit to one term at a time: fall, winter, or spring. Each term has 10 class meetings.

Classes will meet Thursdays from 5-8pm at the UW Seattle campus. Dinner will be provided. Students are expected to spend approximately 2-3 hours on homework each week.

We will not meet during Seattle Public School breaks or UW breaks. See the schedule for details.

What does the application look like?

Students must complete an application quiz which will take at least a few hours. A parent/guardian must fill out a form which includes basic information and a couple of short answer questions. See the application page for more details.

Can you describe the curriculum?

HMA's curriculum will strengthen students' understanding of the math they are learning in school and also introduce them to new topics, methods, and ideas. We will cover algebra, geometry, number theory, combinatorics, and mathematical proof.

Algebra is so fundamental to other mathematical topics that all students need a stronger foundation and more proficiency than they would typically develop in school.

Geometry is the study of space, which helps students visualize mathematics and serves as an important domain for learning to write mathematical proofs.

Number theory is the study of the integers, including the properties of primes, divisibility rules, modular arithmetic, and general number sense.

Combinatorics is the study of counting finite sets, including topics like factorials, permutations, combinations, partitions, and probability.

Proof is the central art of research and communication in the mathematical community, incorporating many common techniques and conventions.

These courses will develop students’ mathematical reasoning skills, and they will learn both formal and informal methods of proof. These skills can take many years to build, and are important for students who wish to study mathematics in college, compete in mathematical olympiads, or improve their critical thinking.

We believe the best way to learn math is through problem solving and discussion rather than through lectures. Our curriculum focuses primarily on problem sets which have been developed and tested over many years. Students who solve and discuss the problems will discover the mathematical theory themselves, and through this discovery, they will build deep understanding of the subject matter.

How are classes structured?

Class time will include a mix of:

Warm-up activities. We might start class with a math problem, logic puzzle, or game to get students' brains ready to work hard.

Homework discussions. Students will present their ideas and solutions on the homework problems, and instructors will facilitate the discussion. We stress that there are multiple ways to think about and solve each problem, and there is value in every student's observations.

In-class problem solving/discussion. Students will work individually or in small groups on new problems, either at their desks or at a whiteboard. We occasionally pause for discussion.

Instructor-led discussions. Instructors occasionally need to introduce new topics or tie key themes from the problem set together into a more formal idea or theorem.

Do you prepare students for math competitions?

Our curriculum will benefit students who choose to participate in math competitions, but that is not our main goal. Our classes focus on building a deep understanding of elementary mathematics, which will benefit the students in their college studies and career. We believe that math competitions provide important motivation for many students, but for most strong students, engaging classrooms and exciting math provide more than enough motivation.

My child has already studied algebra, geometry, number theory, or combinatorics. Will they be bored?

No. We will quickly get a sense for the background of each student and make sure each is intellectually challenged. Our curriculum is extensive enough to challenge the nation's top students, and many of our instructors were top performers on national contests.

Is there a fee to enroll in the Husky Math Academy?

No. HMA is fully funded by donations to the UW Math Circle Fund. We hope that participating families will consider making a donation if they are financially able, but it is not required and does not factor into admission decisions.

How do I donate?

You can make donations to the Math Circle Fund here.

Is dinner provided? Can I bring my own dinner?

Yes. We will provide dinner to the students partway through the class session. Students can bring their own dinner.

How is the Husky Math Academy different from the UW Math Circle?

The Husky Math Academy offers formal classes which require significant time commitment—weekly attendance for 10 weeks, 3 hours of class per week, and weekly homework assignments. Classes will focus on the core subjects of elementary mathematics: algebra, geometry, number theory, and combinatorics. Students will be selected by application.

The UW Math Circle is a lower time commitment program (90 minutes of class per week, no homework) which introduces many topics of higher mathematics in a fun and collaborative environment. The Math Circle is also open to all students in grades 7-9.

Can students in the Husky Math Academy also attend the Tuesday UW Math Circle meetings?

Yes, students may come to both.

## Further Questions

For further questions, please contact info@huskymath.org.