Cryptography Camp

AGAM participants work on aerodynamics activity

Interact with peers who share your love of math

Young women, and particularly women of color, are underrepresented in the mathematical sciences, especially among majors in STEM disciplines. We at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) recognize the need to encourage and mentor young women in mathematics to pursue an undergraduate major in mathematics and to seek mathematical careers. We do this by annually hosting the AGAM: Nebraska Cryptography Camp, made possible with generous support from the AMS Epsilon, Nebraska EPSCoR, and donations to the University of Nebraska Foundation. This camp for high school students provides role models, the opportunity to develop abilities and interest in mathematics with support from our undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, and a growing community of their peers interested in creating a supportive environment for young women in mathematics. AGAM: Nebraska Cryptography Camp is open to all high school students.

In 2020, we held our first virtual camp and repeated the experience in 2021. Learn more about this successful and rewarding online experience!

Summer 2022 Dates: July 11-15, 2022, online

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.

Our history

When Judy Walker joined the UNL mathematics department in 1996 as an assistant professor, she was one of only three women in the department. The others were Assistant Professor Wendy Hines and Professor Sylvia Wiegand, a future president of the Association for Women in Mathematics. Eager to contribute to making mathematics a more attractive profession for women, Walker and Hines began discussing possible activities that would encourage high school girls to consider mathematics as a college major. Two ideas were central in developing the first All Girls/All Math (AGAM) Summer Camp: introducing new mathematical concepts at the high-school age and meeting new peers who also love mathematics.

In 1997, Walker and Hines applied for and received a grant from the Mathematical Association of America’s (MAA) Tensor program. Since then, AGAM also has been supported by the National Security Agency, the AMS’s Epsilon program, and NSF Nebraska EPSCoR.

Over 25 years, nearly 800 high school students have had the opportunity to learn challenging mathematics in this weeklong summer camp. A truly national camp, AGAM has recently served students from 35 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Africa, Brazil, and Canada, and nearly 70% of the students came from outside Nebraska. The pandemic created the opportunity to host the camp online in 2020 and 2021 and reach students for whom travel costs would have been a barrier.

Eligibility

High school students entering grades 10-12 in the fall are invited to apply for the camp. Candidates must have completed high school geometry. Special consideration is given to those entering their sophomore or junior year in the fall who have not yet taken Calculus.

Participants learn about the exciting mathematics of Codes, interact with peers who share an interest in mathematics, and work with mathematics graduate students and professors who earned their Ph.Ds. from Nebraska. The campers are chaperoned by mathematics graduate students and undergraduate students. AGAM is one of 18 Young Scholars Programs across the nation supported by the American Mathematical Society Epsilon Fund. AGAM has been included in the Ultimate Guide to Summer Opportunities for Teens: 200 Programs That Prepare You For College Success book as one of 200 of the best summer programs for teens across the nation.

Schedule

In 2022, a typical day at online camp begins at 9 a.m. Central and ends by 4 p.m. The schedule includes:

  • Interesting mathematics sessions each morning
  • Problem sessions following each class, facilitated by the instructor
  • Networking activities and/or panels each afternoon

See pictures from previous years!

Apply Online

Heart sculpture outside Memorial Stadium
AGAM group photo outside Duncan Aviation
AGAM participants work on an activity together
A puzzle that AGAM students must find and solve
AGAM students work on measuring project
AGAM group photo at Devaney Sports Center
AGAM 2019 aerodynamics class
AGAM group photo outside Morrill Hall

Registration fee for virtual camp

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln wants the AGAM: Nebraska Cryptography Camp experience to be available to everyone. While the cost to attend the virtual camp is $300, which covers instruction and online activity fees, we are able to offer scholarships through generous contributions of many donors, alumni, staff and friends, and through the support of the AMS/Epsilon Program. A limited number of additional scholarships for registration may become available. Participants who need such a scholarship will be asked to explain their financial need situation in the online AGAM application. You do not pay until accepted. Note: In an in-person residential camp environment, the true per-student cost for the camp, including the cost of providing instruction, housing, meals, and social activities, is approximately $1,200.

How to apply

Apply Online

  • The open application period starts in January 2022 and will be open until midnight CT on April 15, 2022.
  • All applications must be received by April 15, 2022, for consideration.
  • Applicants with applications completed by April 8 will be notified by April 29.

Because giving personal attention to each camper is a priority for professors and staff, only 15 students are accepted. We will offer additional camps if demand is high enough. Admission is competitive, so early application is advised.

Questions?

AGAM: Nebraska Cryptography Camp
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Careers in Math

Read about the wide-ranging careers available to you with a degree in mathematics.

Check out this online guide from Maryville University, which includes a brief history of women and their achievements in mathematical careers. It's a great resource for women who are looking for inspiration or guidance on how to advance in their career or education. Maryville University blog

I loved all the activities and guest speakers. The panels were great opportunities to learn more, and the tours and mini-course were a very unique experience. It felt really well organized and was overall an exceptional camp. The atmosphere was always super chill and all the chaperones were helpful and friendly. I learned a lot from cryptography class and found RSA Encryption to be much more interesting than I anticipated. It was great being able to meet a bunch of different students with similar interests and connecting with them throughout the week. Thank you to everyone again for dedicating your time and effort to this; I really appreciated it!
2021 AGAM camper Amanda Guo

Support AGAM/NCC

AGAM/NCC provides a supportive environment for the study of mathematics and the exploration of careers in a variety of fields. Our faculty, from the Nebraska alumni community, share a strong commitment to high-quality teaching and outreach. We appreciate your interest in our program and hope you will consider making a donation so that the Department of Mathematics can sustain this camp after grant funding.

Donate to AGAM Fund