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Project MISS to Offer Summer Math Enrichment for Young Women


July 01, 2003 :: No. 2

What: Cal State Fullerton’s innovative Project MISS (Mathematics Intensive Summer Session), a program designed to enhance the mathematics skills of young women, begins its 14th year with approximately 64 students who are 10th- and 11th-graders from Orange County communities and surrounding areas.
When: July 7 – Aug. 1
Where: McCarthy Hall, Room 187 and Room 689
Background: Project MISS was started in 1990 by Dr. David L. Pagni, CSUF professor of mathematics, to encourage young women to pursue careers in science and math by providing an intensive skills-building summer course. The long-range goal is to encourage more young women to succeed in calculus, thus opening the door to such university majors as chemistry, engineering, geology, biology, physics and math. The short-term goal is to address the needs of female high school students who are college bound and succeeding in all course work except math. With the program’s intensive training, students regain the confidence and skills needed to succeed, according to Pagni.
Activities: Participants study six hours a day, Monday through Friday, and also learn to prepare for college life and explore career options. This summer, Project MISS will conduct two classes in Algebra II. In addition, a math competition club program for 25 boys and girls will be offered in McCarthy Hall, Room 468.

A series of women speakers will add a real-world dimension to the program.

“Student participants will see the career opportunities and fields that await them if they do well in mathematics,” said Pagni, who was honored in 1993 with the Outstanding Professor Award from both CSUF and the CSU system. “Speakers include professional women, business executives, engineers, educators and others, who will serve as role models to motivate these young women to achieve greater success.”

Program Director: This spring Pagni, Project MISS director, was named a winner of the California State University Wang Family Excellence Award. He has been called “one of the most respected math educators in the world” by Solomon Garfunkel, executive director of the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications. Over the years, Pagni has received more than $13.6 million in research grants to improve the way math is taught in local schools.
Sponsors: Southwestern Bell, Fluor Foundation, Boeing, California Mathematics Council, GEARUP – Anaheim, CSUF Outreach and the CSUF Faculty-Staff “It’s Our University” Campaign and Toshiba Corp.
Media Contacts: Dr. David L. Pagni, professor of mathematics, at 657-278-2671 or dpagni@fullerton.edu
Dave Reid, Public Affairs, at 657-278-4855 or dreid@fullerton.edu

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