Primes Logo PRIMES: Testimonials

Testimonials from parents of PRIMES students

The program provides a truly transformative experience for bright kids -- they got to learn what real research is like by actually doing real research. MIT has always been at the forefront of educating the brightest of future scientists/mathematicians. The experience these youngsters get is clearly much deeper than taking college courses (even MIT courses) for a year. By all accounts, the research those high school kids did is of publishable quality. This no doubt adds a lot to MIT's reputation.

PRIMES is such a great bridge leading the kids through from the problem solving to serious math research. Along the path to their success, the kids need such fantastic bridges/ladders.

We really appreciate the amazing benefits that our son is getting from this program, and are certain that he will continue to feel the benefit for many years into the future. The nature of the project is open-ended work that lacks a guaranteed correct answer and that calls upon particular imaginative and associative mental skills. Most importantly, the program is not competitive. This has allowed our son time to grow into the subject without a sense that he must produce defined material, get a score etc. Our son has been tremendously encouraged and inspired by the interactions with MIT faculty.

The PRIMES program caters to a small but important group of high-schoolers who are very talented at math and are ready to engage in more open-ended math research. This is a great way to encourage bright teenagers to get deeper into math!

The program is unparalleled! There is no comparable opportunity for highly motivated teens to immerse themselves in the world of higher mathematics.

The combination of three things - the choice of problem, infrastructure, and dedication of mentors and everyone else involved with PRIMES - has made the program work so well for our daughter. We are enormously grateful. Let me just give a special mention to the faculty members who participated. We know the demands on their time are great, and the generosity of spirit they exhibited was inspiring.

Kids like the ones in PRIMES, for the most part, have finished or given up on the math curricula in their schools. Many are kept going by competing in math contests, which can be great for certain kids, but offer a very distorted view of what being a mathematician (or any type of academic) is like. PRIMES fills a real gap - challenging, substantive mathematics in a cooperative and constructive environment for very talented kids.

The MIT PRIMES program has been a very positive experience for our daughter. We are especially impressed with the thoughtful and nurturing mentorship provided to her. Not only was she introduced to an interesting problem in contemporary science, but was also able to attend group meetings and journal clubs. Repeatedly, she returned home from MIT greatly energized.

We were astonished with the level of presentations at the PRIMES conference. It was hard to believe that the presenters were all still high school students.

Our daughter likes to study math, but most of the time she just learned from books and in the classroom with very limited opportunities to discuss problems/do problem solving with others. PRIMES opens a door for her to be able to learn math in a different way. She not only has learned some math, but has also learned how to communicate/discuss the problems and share ideas with her mentors. More importantly, she has gained more confidence as a girl in learning how to start a research project. We were surprised when she presented her project in front of others since she used to be intimidated with less confidence. The mentors have worked so hard and closely with students and were always there for great support and help.

The organization of the PRIMES conference was fantastic. It was the correct balance of student/advisor involvement. It was very professionally presented, and three generations of family members felt very welcome.

The program is a unique opportunity for a select group of area students. It provides a structure for what would otherwise be the nearly impossible undertaking of transitioning a very bright and motivated group of high school students from classical learning to fundamental research.

It's a fantastic experience that generates exciting research results, and helps kids get into mathematical and computational biology research. To actually have a real research project on the cutting edge where one can make a real contribution gives smart high school kids an exciting look at what makes science fun and meaningful. I'm sure it also helps MIT recruit great college applicants as well because it shows concretely what makes MIT such a special place.

This program provides students a unique opportunity to understand real mathematic problems and the way to solve them. It also gives some talented young students a great chance to know MIT so they can feel and breathe the true MIT culture.


With questions, contact PRIMES Program Director Slava Gerovitch at