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The HSMC courses nurture

  1. Rigorous reasoning and logic skills (through experiences in mathematical proof-writing)
  2. Creative problem identification and solving skills
  3. Excellent teamwork and collaboration skills
  4. Mindsets to tackle open-ended problems
  5. Great communication and presentation skills

Students are taught by university faculty, mentored by undergraduate counselors, and share the joy of exploring mathematics with their peers.

Course Descriptions

  • Elementary Number Theory provides a solid foundation for all students in mathematics. This course covers basic properties of integer arithmetic, including unique prime factorization, Euclid’s algorithm, Diophantine equations, modular arithmetic, congruences, induction, well-ordering, quadratic residues and quadratic reciprocity.
  • Mathematica Computer Lab enables students to explore the application of ideas discussed in the Number Theory and Problem Solving courses. Students use the Mathematica software to model real world problems. Specific applications include coding theory, public key encryption, testing for primes, and the Chinese Remainder Theorem.
  • Honors Seminar - modeled after Honors Programs offered at many top-tier colleges, the Honors Seminar is an interdisciplinary course that challenges students intellectually through rigorous standards of analysis, preparing them to conduct their own research in the future.  Hands-on learning experiences introduce students to concepts of teamwork and critical thinking.  Reading discussions and guest speakers add fundamental and thought-provoking theories from multiple perspectives.  The capstone project for the course is an entrepreneurship activity that includes a final group presentation.
  • CombinatoricsAbstract Algebra, and Analysis, provide returning students with a firm foundation in fundamental areas of mathematics, while building on ideas from the first year.
  • Study Group - students are assigned into groups of 3 or 4, and provided guidance by an undergraduate mentor (counselor) to work on the daily problem sets.  This intensive collaboration allows students to delve deeply into the mathematics, and think carefully about each question.  Teamwork and communication skills are developed as students work together in the exploration of mathematical theorems.

HSMC 2017 Bloopers

Sample Daily Schedule (Regular Program when face-to-face)


1st-year Students
(first-time students)

2nd-year Students
(returning students)

3rd-year Students
(returning students)

7:00-8:00am Breakfast  
8:15-9:45am Number Theory Research Projects
9:50-10:50am Honors Seminar Research Projects
10:55-Noon Guest Speakers Research Projects
 Noon-12:40pm Lunch   
 12:45-1:45pm Problem Session/Mathematica Lab Combinatorics Analysis II
 1:50-2:50pm Problem Session/Mathematica Lab Analysis I Abstract Algebra
 3:00-5:00pm Recreation and Free Time   
 5:00-6:00pm  Dinner  
 6:00-10:00pm  Study Group  



Activities and Camp Life

  • Students live in a campus dormitory under the supervision of 15 camp counselors (undergraduate mentors) who are HSMC alumni.
  • All students have free use of the University's Student Recreation Center, which offers basketball courts, volleyball courts, racquetball courts, an indoor track, and a swimming pool.
  • There is a guest lecture each Friday afternoon by a speaker from academia or industry, followed by a picnic with games and socializing at the local park.
  • Weekend activities include (subject to change):
    • Hiking Enchanted Rock
    • Shopping at San Marcos' famed Outlet Malls
    • Tubing down the San Marcos River
    • Visiting Bamberger Selah Ranch
    • Indoor Rockwall Climbing

Packing List and Other Items of Interest

Click here to read the packing list and other items of interest.