Outreach programs swim duke math circles meehs gem plum logos with photos of student participants

Duke Math Circles

Math circles are designed to expose students to math problems that are exciting and challenging without the pressure of grades, “right” answers, tests, or homework.  The topics covered are generally not ones that show up in school and aim to enliven the math interests of students.  The problems involve in-depth thinking and creative problem-solving techniques.  Students meet other like-minded students and improve their critical thinking skills. Our goal is to focus on learning to think like a mathematician - to see the beauty of mathematics in the world through the exploration of ideas and the asking of difficult questions.

Duke Math faculty, graduate students, and staff are coordinating with the Durham Children's Initiative (DCI) to provide this type of instruction to students grades K-6.  DCI provides services to Durham students to support them on their journey “from cradle to college/career.”  You can read more about their services here.


Summer Workshop in Math (SWiM) is a seven-day workshop for rising high school seniors who are interested in mathematics, with a particular focus on advancing female participation in math.  All students currently in their junior year of high school who are citizens of and reside in the US are eligible. Female and female-identifying students are encouraged to apply. Learn more about SWiM.


In Mathematics Employment Experience for High School Students (MEEHS), teams of high school students, teachers and researchers work together on mathematical problems and exposition during a week of the summer.  This year's problem was data on 42 similar cases involving one prosecutor. The prosecutor has a pool of eligible jurors of variable sizes and may strike a variable number of eligible jurors off the jury. The data includes the number of African American jurors in each pool and the number of African American jurors struck by the prosecutor. It is illegal to strike jurors for being black. The question is: did the prosecutor break the law?  Check here to see what they decided.


GEM (Girls Exploring Math) is a mathematics enrichment program and research study through Duke. The free program includes Saturday math enrichment workshops that focus on encouraging middle school girls to explore math.  At these workshops, participants work on challenging puzzles to build problem-solving skills and engage with math outside of the standard school curriculum. Participants also discuss gender stereotypes and the current environment for women in math.


The Public Lectures Unveiling Math (PLUM) lecture series are aimed at general audience and focused on promoting mathematics in general by presenting inspiring stories about mathematics. They could be based on an incredible journey for finding fundamental truths or could be about how mathematics is used for real world applications.

The PLUM is currently supported by the generosity of Goh Peng Ooi, Duke Math, and by Duke iiD.  Check out past speakers we've had here.