Gateway to Exploring Mathematical Sciences: CURRENT YEAR: 2017-2018 (Feb. 3, March 3, April 14)

What is GEMS?

The Gateway to Exploring Mathematical Sciences program (GEMS) is a once monthly, Saturday morning workshop designed to get young students excited about math and science.  GEMS is designed to reach eighth, ninth and tenth grade students who may have an interest in mathematics or science. The workshops present mathematics and science applications in an exciting way that catches young students’ interest from the surrounding areas. Professors, undergraduates and graduate students from each of the six colleges in the Claremont Consortium take part in the GEMS program, thus offering the incoming students, their parents, and teachers a chance to meet and work with the large variety of excellent and award winning faculty, staff, students and alumni at the Claremont Colleges. The GEMS program helps excite the interests and curiosity of young students and shows them how amazing and satisfying the mathematical sciences can be.

*Participants limited to 40 and pre-registration is required. Links attached below by the workshop descriptions*


(Pre-registration links are directly below each GEMS event link below)

Program Format : The Saturday morning workshops begin at 10:00 and go through to 12:00 noon. They typically begin with a forty-five minute presentation by a professor, then a break with a snack, followed by a forty-five minute breakout session, in which students in small groups conduct their own hands-on personal exploration. Each breakout group consists of approximately six to eight students and is assisted by the colleges' undergraduate and graduate students. The breakout sessions are followed by group presentations, discussion, worksheets, and fun activities.

 GEMS is grateful to the following sponsors:


Claremont Graduate University’s Blais Foundation Challenge Award and Research Initiatives

The Lin Family

Parking: Participants can park for free on any of the surrounding streets, it is recommended that you park around the corner of Dartmouth and Foothill (or anywhere along Foothill) to be closer to the workshop.


Transportation for the young students is provided by the respective school districts (bus, van, carpooling by parents, teachers, etc) or personal transportation and the site for the 2018 GEMS program is in the Shanahan Center at Harvey Mudd College (Room B460).


GEMS will take place in the Shanahan Center in room 2475.

You can find the GEMS location by pinpointing the Shanahan Center on this interactive map here: 

1) Find the "Locations" list on the left panel and click on the "Academic and Administrative" button.

2) Under it, find and click on the button that says "R. Michael Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning." It will then highlight the exact location for the GEMS workshops.

Registration is open and free of charge to all students in the eighth, ninth and tenth grades. Because each session is independent from the other sessions, a student may choose to participate in one workshop, or all of the workshops. However once a student has experienced one session, it is unlikely he or she will want to miss a single one.


2017-2018 Year


Spring 2018 Dates

Location: Harvey Mudd College, Shanahan Center, 2nd Floor

February 3 at 10 AM



Speaker: Professor Michael Orrison, Harvey Mudd College

Topic: Should We Vote on How We Vote?
Abstract:  Voting is something we do in a variety of settings, but how we vote is seldom questioned. In this workshop, we'll explore a few different voting procedures from a mathematical perspective as we try to make sense of the paradoxical results that can occur when we vote in more than one way.

Location: Shanahan Center B460, Harvey Mudd College

March 3 at 10 AM




Speaker: Professor Jenny Switkes from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Topic: All Things Network
Abstract: Together we’ll explore networks through a tour of the area of mathematics called Graph Theory.  How can we represent a network mathematically and visually?  What kinds of ideas and structures can we define on a network?  What theorems can we propose and prove?  What applications to the real world can we imagine?  Networks are colorful, intriguing, and fun to explore!
April 21st at 10 AM




Speaker: Professor Omayra Ortega from Pomona College

Topic: To be determined


Previous Programs

Speaker: Blake Hunter   Topic: Walking Outbreak - Using Dice and Mathematics to Model the Spread of a Disease

Speaker: Judy Grabiner

Topic: The most powerful principle in mathematics meets the odds in a Native American game

Speaker: Marina Chugunova   Topic: Geometry of Castles and Forts

Speaker: Marina Chugunova   Topic: How to catch a liar.

Speaker: Alfonso Castro   Topic: Plane Geometry and Real Numbers

Speaker: Angel Chavez   Topic: Brownian Motion and Random Walks

Speaker: Dr. Jemma Lorenat   Topic: Inescapable Logic

Speaker:  Shanda Nelson Topic: Symmetry 

Speaker: Shahriar Shariari   Topic:  Can you make a soccer ball using only 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons? How about with 13 pentagons and 12 hexagons? 

Speaker: Blake Hunter   Topic: Matheematics of Tessellations 

And many more since 2008...


GEMSspring2015.pdf1.61 MB

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