The MaCSS Scholars program is a small but vibrant community of Math, Computer Science, and Statistics majors at University of Michigan. Students enter the program as rising second-years or recent community college transfer students. The NSF-funded program (DUE-2221516) aims, specifically, to support students from low-income backgrounds through their major and beyond. Support includes scholarships (up to $10K/year), an intellectually engaging intensive summer institute, and much more. The program components all work toward the same goal: that all scholars complete their intended major, with competitive transcripts and resumes, giving them the ability to pursue their chosen professional or academic path post-graduation.
The MaCSS Scholars program will provide participants with scholarships up to $10K per year through graduation. These scholarships help fill unmet need after other scholarships or grants have been applied. This includes replacing work-study and loans.
The program utilizes dedicated faculty advisors from each department to ensure that MaCSS Scholars have consistent, compassionate, and knowledgeable advising through graduation. Advisors are: Nina White (Math), Bill Arthur (CS), and Alicia Romero (Statistics). Scholars first meet their advisors during the Winter semester their accepted to MaCSS, then each subsequent semester.
A pillar of the program is the Summer Institute: 4 weeks in July-August. Scholars are provided with housing, food, and a $1000 stipend. This intensive social and academic experience is organized around a theme relevant to all three types of majors.
In our first summer (2023) the theme of the institute was “Probability”. Scholars engaged in problem solving, mathematical proving, and computer simulations. Days included mini-topics or puzzles, the main course, and open work time; the second two weeks focused on in-depth, scholar-driven projects. There were also daily guest speakers for scholars to hear from both local and national researchers on a variety of topics across all three disciplines that utilize probabilistics methods.
We encourage MaCSS students to form study groups for key second year courses for their major (and beyond!). To help students study together, we provide a dedicated space and graduate student instructor support for these MaCSS study groups. We also coordinate with the instructors and coordinators of key second year courses (including Math 217, Math 214, Math 215, EECS 203, and Math/Stats 425) to buttress these study groups with existing course resources.
Each MaCSS Scholar is paired with a faculty mentor from their discipline, to meet with 2-4 times per semester. These informal conversations help strengthen scholars’ connection to their discipline and department and support scholars’ job and graduate school pursuits.
One of the biggest underlying benefits of the MaCSS program is a tight-knit community of scholars, all pursuing similar degrees, taking similar classes, and navigating similar stages of education. Beyond the MaCSS community itself, scholars are also invited to become M-Sci and CSP affiliate members if they are not part of these programs already. These two programs provide further resources such as dedicated general advisors, academic coaching, and more.
Who is this program for?
- Students from low-income backgrounds who are interested in joining a small, supportive community of committed students and caring, engaged faculty.
- Students who are excited about learning math, computer science, or statistics and pursuing professional or academic opportunities in those fields.
- Rising second year college students who started at UM in their first year, as well as recent transfer students from community colleges.
- You will belong to a community of peer scholars, giving you built-in study partners and deep social-academic relationships.
- You will have access to a faculty mentor from your discipline and dedicated majors advisors from your department.
- You will have financial relief from work-study and loans, giving you more time to focus on academics.
- You and your MaCSS study groups will have a dedicated Graduate Student Guide, special study space, course-specific supports in Math 217, and an engaging and inspiring Summer Institute experience.