Reviewer: Anonymous

Stars out of 5: ☆☆☆☆☆

Location: Otterbein University in Ohio. There is also an Indiana location.

Cost: $6,000

Financial Aid? Yes

Personal Review:

Overall, the Ross Math Program was a very enjoyable experience where I got to meet many like-minded people.

Aspects I really enjoyed:

Ross's main focus is Number Theory, which is personally my favorite area of math.

The problem sets at Ross are very fun and challenging. You're allowed to work on them together with other people, which naturally creates a collaborative environment.

Students are organized in "families" with around 5 first year students, 1 second-year student, and 1 counselor. Families are encouraged to learn and discuss new concepts together every day. Every family also independently went on fun trips on the weekends, such as getting ice cream, eating at restaurants, or going to the mall.

There are many opportunities to attend advanced lectures, and the advanced lectures also have a wide range of difficulty levels. I particularly enjoyed learning about Graph Theory. Some very difficult classes like the Bergelson lectures are mostly only attended by second-year students and even counselors!

The gender ratio on campus is pretty even, even when Ross takes all applications blindly. There was around a 60-40 split of boys and girls.

Some things I didn't really expect:

Competition math and the pure math taught at Ross are actually very different, and having experience in competition math doesn't necessarily give you an advantage. In fact, talk of competition math is actually discouraged.

Since the camp experience makes everyone so independent, everyone's sleep schedule fails eventually, with people staying up as late as 6AM (then napping in the afternoons). This is probably true for all camp experiences where students are away from home.

Possible Cons:

The workload can be intensive. Although everyone is allowed to do problem sets at their own pace, the pressure to get to a high number can take a toll on people.

The campus was nice, but the dorms left a little to be desired. In the Indiana campus, there was a bathroom for every room, but in the Ohio campus, the bathrooms and showers are all shared. Additionally, there is limited space to work collaboratively within the dorms, so after curfew becomes a little difficult.

The racial diversity of the camp is very low, with everyone being Asian except for two white kids. This is because Ross takes all applications completely blindly. If this isn't an environment you would enjoy, then you may want to consider other options.

Recommendation?

Yes, I think it's one of the math programs where you get the most out of your money. 6 weeks for $6000 is better than the rate for other programs like SuMaC.

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