Campus: CSU Fullerton -- June 24, 2005

Math Figures Into Students' Summer Activities During Project MISS

Ninety young women from area high schools will spend the month of July focused on equations and formulas as they take part in Cal State Fullerton's 16th annual Project MISS (Mathematics Intensive Summer Session).

The popular four-week program was created in 1990 by David L. Pagni, professor of mathematics and recipient of both the campus and CSU Outstanding Professor Award, to address the needs of female high school students seeking additional assistance in mathematics. The program also encourages young women to pursue higher education as preparation for careers in the sciences and math-related fields.

In that regard, the program has been a rousing success.

Since its inception, 98 percent of Project MISS participants have completed high school and entered college - 20 percent of them majoring in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, said Pagni, adding that one-third of MISS alumni enroll at Cal State Fullerton.

"With the program's intensive training, students regain the confidence and skills needed to succeed," Pagni noted. "They see what they can do and accomplish, as well as the opportunities with mathematics."

This year's program begins July 5 and continues through July 29.

Participants will spend six hours a day, Monday through Friday, studying either algebra 2, geometry or precalculus. But it's not all bookwork. The goal is to make the lessons fun and interesting, so participants work in teams on projects, posters and other activities, noted Pagni.

They also learn how to prepare for college life and explore career options.

Each group is led by two teachers - Cal State Fullerton students who have attended at least one semester in the university's teacher education programs. In addition, each group works with two tutors who are either graduate students or math majors.

As part of the program, those in Project MISS have the opportunity to hear from women making their mark in science and technical arenas.

"Student participants will see the career opportunities and fields that await them if they do well in mathematics," said Pagni. "Speakers include women professionals - business, executives, engineers, educators and others, who will serve as role models to motivate these young women to achieve greater success."

Media Contacts:
David L. Pagni at (714) 278-2671 or
Pamela McLaren of Public Affairs at (714) 278-4852 or

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