PRIMES, it turns out, isn’t just a word for numbers without any proper factors – it’s also a mentoring programme for high school students in the USA, based at MIT. The students visit there once a week from February to May, and work with academics on real research. They also run similar programmes for computer science and computational biology.

The scheme has recently been extended to allow students not local to MIT (or in possession of a private jet or teleporter^{1} ) to attend. PRIMES-USA is a national scheme for students across the country, which requires them to visit MIT for a conference in May, but the rest of the meetings take place via Skype.

The scheme accepts talented students, which means seriously talented, as this terrifying page of information about the project demonstrates by listing some of the papers the students have written and scholarships they’ve won. The new PRIMES-USA scheme is limited to five participants this year, although this may increase once it’s not a pilot.

They also run a scheme for local urban public high schools, called PRIMES Circle, which operates as an after-school program (and is run by someone who spent a year of her PhD in Manchester, so I know her! Internet maths news is such a small world) offering talented students the chance to work on maths problems from outside the curriculum.

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*via Tanya Khovanova*

- Although if they’ve invented a teleporter, this scheme probably can’t help them much [↩]