Reading Groups


Reading mathematical literature is a major skill used in math research and advanced math classes (presumably college level courses). At GirlsxMRO, we hope to introduce these skills and give the students a hands-on experience in self-studying and reading advanced mathematics. The reading groups each week gave students a chance to dig deeper into the topic each week, including exploring abstract math theorems and applications and thinking about harder math problems. This was also a chance to really build close personal connections, as students worked closely with mentors and other girls.

The 2021 program consisted of three weeks (07/04/21-07/24/21) of reading groups, independent of each other, and students could attend any combination of the three reading groups. There were limited spots for reading groups since it was a fully-mentored small group experience, so we did our best to accommodate all interested students.

Meeting Schedule

Week 2: Group Theory Tuesday 7/6/21 3:00-4:00 PM PST/6:00-7:00 PM EDT

Friday 7/9/21 3:00-4:00 PM PST/6:00-7:00 PM EDT

Week 3: Algebraic Combinatorics Tuesday 7/13/21 3:00-4:00 PM PST/6:00-7:00 PM EDT

Friday 7/16/21 3:00-4:00 PM PST/6:00-7:00 PM EDT

Week 2: Topology Tuesday 7/20/21 3:00-4:00 PM PST/6:00-7:00 PM EDT

Friday 7/23/21 3:00-4:00 PM PST/6:00-7:00 PM EDT


Group Theory

  • Algebra II concepts

    • Polynomials

    • Basic understanding of complex numbers

    • Exponents

  • Basic modular arithmetic

Algebraic Combinatorics

  • Counting/combinatorics concepts

    • Factorials

    • Permutations

    • Combinations

  • Algebra II concepts

    • Exponents

    • Functions


  • Properties of sets

  • Advanced properties of functions

    • AT LEAST the following:

      • Onto/surjective

      • One-to-one/injective

  • Participation in Group Theory reading group will be helpful


In the application, students were asked to rank their interest in the three reading groups and provide any additional information about their rankings. Students in a reading group were expected to attend the Sunday live Zoom session for that week. After that session, they received the readings and were expected to do 30-45 min asynchronous work to prepare for each of the reading group meetings later in the week. Reading groups met on Tuesdays and Fridays at 3:00-4:00 PM PST/6:00-7:00 PM EDT. During these meetings we got to:

  1. Discuss the reading materials and expand on the concepts to help everyone understand the abstract ideas

  2. Collaborate and work on challenging problems

  3. Build a community and make friends within each group