Archive for April, 2010

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Reid Barton

April 11, 2010

Reid Barton

Reid Barton – Mathematician and Computer Scientist

A resident of Arlington, Massachusetts, Reid W. Barton is the son of two environmental engineers. Officially homeschooled since third grade, his mathematical and computer science abilities were evident from an early age. In grade three, he was tutored in game theory by a computer science graduate student. When he was only 10 years old, Barton obtained the maximum score of 5 on the AP Calculus examination.

Barton began his formal mathematical studies in middle school, while also taking part-time classes at Tufts University in chemistry (5th grade), physics (6th grade), Swedish, Finnish, French, and Chinese. Mentored by MIT computer scientist Charles E. Leiserson beginning in eighth grade, he honed his abilities on CilkChess, one of the top computer chess programs. Later, while a student at MIT, Barton worked with Leiserson and contributed to the CilkChess program.

Barton graduated recently from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is currently a graduate student at Harvard University in mathematics. He won the 2005 AMS Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student, awarded jointly by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America. Barton is also a Putman Fellow, one of only seven four-time winners of the annual mathematics competition for undergraduate college students (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004).

In high school, Barton was the first participant to ever win four gold medals at the International Mathematical Olympiads (IMO) for pre-collegiate students (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001), and he was one of four perfect scorers in 2001. That year he also placed first at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), earning his second IOI gold medal with a score of 580 out of 600, 55 points ahead of his nearest competitor. In addition, he is the only person to have won both the IMO and the IOI.

Barton competed on MIT’s ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest team, finishing fifth and second at the 2003 and 2001 World Finals respectively. He was on the 2nd and 5th place MIT team at the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, and reached the finals in the TopCoder Open (2004), semi-finals (2003, 2006), the TopCoder Collegiate Challenge (2004), semi-finals (2006), TCCC Regional finals (2002), and TopCoder Invitational semi-finals (2002).

Besides his academic achievements, Barton is an accomplished pianist and cellist, performing in Chamber Music Society groups. He is an avid bridge player who also enjoys playing intramural soccer and hockey. Barton spends his summers teaching younger students at various academic training programs such as the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program.

Barton’s favorite mathematical formula is related to the “polar moment of inertia,” used to predict an object’s ability to resist torsion. Barton’s favorite book is “Gödel, Escher, Bach” by Douglas Hofstadter.  The 1979 Pulitzer Prize-winner examines common interdisciplinary themes in the lives and work of logician Kurt Gödel, artist M. C. Escher, and composer Johann Sebastian Bach. [The author’s great achievement in “Gödel, Escher, Bach” was making abstract topics accessible and entertaining, enabling readers to visualize difficult mathematical concepts in the spirit of Lewis Carroll.]

In 2008, Barton published a joint thesis, “Generalizations of Kempe’s Universality Theorem,” with Timothy G. Abbott under the advisement of Erik Demaine at MIT. Professor Demaine is a famous homeschooled mathematician and computer scientist in his own right: http://www.famoushomeschoolers.net/bio_demaine.html

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Mitchell College

April 11, 2010

Mitchell College

Mitchell College is a private, coeducational institution offering associate and bachelor degree programs in the liberal arts and professional areas. Located in New London, Connecticut, on the former estate of Alfred Mitchell, the college has a unique waterfront campus overlooking the Thames River and Long Island Sound.

The descendants of the Alfred Mitchell family have been the college’s principal benefactors since its founding in the fall of 1938. While the college closed briefly in 1943 because of World War II, regular classes resumed with the fall of 1946. In the 1950’s, Mitchell College became known as one of New England’s leading two-year colleges.

Focusing on student asset development rather than deficit management, Mitchell College is dedicated to providing a challenging education in a caring and cooperative environment for all students, including those with untapped potential and those with diagnosed learning disabilities. At Mitchell College, not only do the faculty members possess graduate and postgraduate degrees in their field of study, but they are also experienced and trained educational professionals who are well-versed in the area of working with students who have different learning styles.

Small classes with a student/faculty ratio of 12-to-1, personalized attention, a caring and supportive atmosphere, and academic programs that combine classroom instruction with practical “hands-on” learning through required internships, are just a few of the many hallmarks of a Mitchell College education. The college is notable for its Criminal Justice, Pre-Law, Business Administration, human development, early childhood education, Sports Management, and Pre-Allied Health programs.

The college also offers one of the nation’s premier academic programs for students with diagnosed learning disabilities and/or ADD/ADHD. The Learning Resource Center offers three levels of support services to students with disabilities: Comprehensive Support (Level I); Enhanced Support (Level II) and Entitled Support (Level III). Level I and Level II supports are available on a fee-for-service basis to students with documented learning disabilities and/or ADHD.

Mitchell College has an extensive array or assistive learning equipment and software. Some of this adaptive technology includes: Assistive Listening Devices, Kurzweil Reading System, Screen Reading Software, and Voice Recognition Software. Learning and Writing Specialists work with students one-on-one in scheduled mentoring sessions to develop skills and strategies for their academic progress. In addition, the Academic Coaching for Empowerment (ACE) program pairs students with individual LRC coaches to assist with their academic success.

Mitchell College embraces the C.A.R.E.S. model, a framework enabling students to understand and nurture five principles which provide meaning and a sense of purpose to one’s life. Mitchell’s community of scholars, mentors and role models is committed to nurturing these values both inside and outside of the classroom:

C = Citizenship (promoting such virtues as moral maturity, commitment and respect)
A = Achievement(establishing expectations and goals and ways to reach them)
R = Respect(celebrating a world of differences and fostering a sensitive understanding of cultural variations)
E = Engagement(involving the student in learning opportunities beyond the classroom)
S = Service(becoming involved in one’s community and giving of oneself for the betterment of others)

The “Dawn and Ric Brill Duquès ’64 Academic Success Center” at Mitchell College is a learning facility dedicated solely to student academic success. Home to the Learning Resource Center, Tutoring Center, Career Center and Academic Advising, this brand new state of the art facility sits high on the middle of campus overlooking the water. The building has space designated for meetings with learning and writing specialists, classroom instruction, tutoring, testing, study, relaxation, reflection, and research.

The Mitchell College campus also offers such amenities as on-campus housing (including four multi-level, dormitory-style buildings and four residential river houses), a cafe, ice cream shop, a preserve area known as “Mitchell Woods,” a beach, and multiple playing fields. Mitchell’s sports teams compete in the New England Collegiate Conference. The intercollegiate sports that they offer are: men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, sailing, soccer, and tennis; and women’s cross country, basketball, sailing, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.

Mitchell College’s Admissions Office operates on a rolling admission basis. There is no set application deadline. However, priority is granted to those applications completed prior to March 1st. Students seeking campus housing, financial aid and/or learning support should apply early as these resources are limited and may no longer be available to late applicants. The Summer Transition Enrichment Program (S.T.E.P.) is a four-week optional intensive summer program for incoming freshmen. S.T.E.P. enables students to transition into their fall studies by strengthening their study skills, improving basic academic skills, and identifying their personal learning style while earning college credit.

Kevin M.R. Mayne, Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing at Mitchell College states, “…we believe that everyone is unique. We all have special talents and abilities and we also each approach learning in a different way.” Likewise, the college recognizes that many students come with a variety of college level learning experiences that occurred outside the traditional classroom, and these may be evaluated for possible credit. In addition, credit by examination allows students who have already studied the subject matter of a course offered at Mitchell to earn credit for that class by passing an examination which covers the course material.

In the same spirit of non-traditional learning, Mitchell College welcomes homeschooled students. Home educated students who wish to apply for admission to Mitchell should follow the guidelines listed in Admissions Requirements and Procedures for Home Educated Students. Required documents will include a personal statement such as an essay or other form of personal expression (poem, artwork, PowerPoint, etc.); a letter of recommendation from a non-family member (e.g. previous employer, clergy, supervisor during volunteer experience, etc.); a copy of the “Declaration of Intent to Home School” as filed with the local Board of Education; homeschool transcript as well as transcripts from any high school and/or college attended; and a letter from the primary teacher certifying completion of high school and date of high school graduation. Mitchell College does NOT require an official high school diploma, General Education Diploma (GED), or SAT/ACT scores.

Mitchell College participates in the Advanced Placement Program (AP) administered by the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). The CEEB offers examinations in: art history, biology, chemistry, English composition, English literature, French, German, history, Latin, mathematics, physics, Spanish, and studio art. The college will grant credit for AP exam grades of 3, 4 or 5 in any of the above subject areas.

Approximately 800 students currently attend Mitchell College, 85% of whom live on campus. 55% of the students are female and 45% are male. The majority of the students are traditional college age, 18 – 22 years old. Of the total population of Mitchell’s students, 5% are international and come from more than 18 countries.

An Open House is a great opportunity for future students and their families to come and spend the day exploring all that Mitchell College has to offer with presentations, campus tours, interviews, and lunch. Junior Days will be held from April 20 – 22 (for current HS Juniors only). Their Fall Open House will be October 11th. For more information, call 800-443-2811 or visit www.mitchell.edu