Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I participate in MCoRE?
Simply put, the main goal of MCoRE is to introduce you to research in STEM. But you might ask: "How can one do research in Math or Computer Science?" Well, that is the question we are trying to answer at MCoRE!
At school, "being good at" a subject often means having the ability to solve problems from a textbook, or scoring high on standardized tests. However, as professional mathematicians and researchers, we know that "being good" at Math or Computer Science (M&CS) means a lot more than that! One of the most fun parts of being "good at" mathematics (or Computer Science) is the ability to ask really interesting questions and create new mathematics! This, in a nutshell, is what research is all about. Due to many factors, students are not normally exposed to this kind of M&CS. We believe that MCoRE can provide students with an opportunity to explore their interests in M&CS and find out if they want to be really "good at" these subjects!
Why is it good to be good at M&CS or explore research opportunities in these fields? It isn't just because being good at math opens the door to many opportunities for careers in science and technology, but also because we believe research gives us the power to think more logically and analyze the world around us more critically, enabling us to solve real-world problems effectively. And let's be honest, having this kind of extracurricular activity in your portfolio looks really good on a college application.
In addition to the reasons mentioned above, another important reason for you to participate is to have an opportunity to directly interact with UC Merced's faculty and students, asking them questions and learning more about college life and/or research. The hands-on workshops will be at UC Merced's campus, which allows you to experience the campus environment in preparation for your future college experience!
How is the program structured?
MCoRE is structured to include workshop sessions, Q&A panels, and research presentations. Selected students will be aiming to complete an intriguing research project of their choosing, which will be in tandem with the topics covered in the hand-on sessions. Each session will be roughly four hours and consist of (a) Technical Workshops, (b) Professional Development, and (c) dedicated project working time (with half-hour breaks in between each section!).
What general topics will the program cover?
Specific program topics and curriculum will be announced to the selected students prior to the program start date. General topics for the program include introductions to:
Object-oriented programming in Python
Statistics and data visualization in R
Preparing and presenting research posters
Parents' and Teachers' FAQs
Why should my child/student participate in MCoRE?
At MCoRE, our goal is to provide local high school students with extracurricular Math and Computer Science activities, creating a supportive venue where students can discover the appeal of these domains with the hopes of encouraging them to pursue higher education and research in these areas.
We believe that students should discover and explore their interests from a young age so that they can pursue topics that they find fascinating, rather than doing something just because they are "good" at it. Additionally, we believe that many high school students are not familiar with the variety of topics and opportunities in Mathematics and Computer Science. Our goal at MCoRE is to encourage students interested in Math and Computer Science to ask intriguing questions, hoping to foster their creativity and improve their skills to answer the questions they find fascinating, which is a crucial part of being a researcher.
The designed hands-on sessions aim to bring out individual creativity and curiosity in each student as opposed to making students conform to some predefined notion of "being good at" Math or Computer Science. We aim to achieve this by making each session as hands-on as possible, and by letting each student have a voice and learn through discussion. We hope to show students that there is no penalty for “being wrong” about a question and that active engagement is fundamental in one's learning process.
In addition to MCoRE's curriculum and pedagogy, another important reason for students to participate is to have an opportunity to engage with UC Merced through interactions with faculty and students, as well as to experience the campus environment. We believe students' engagement with UC Merced will help students realize the benefits of attending college and motivate them to pursue the career of their choice in STEM fields.
How many sessions will the program have?
As of now, we anticipate having 5-7 hands-on sessions, each being roughly 4 hours (including two 30-minute breaks).
Are there any transportation options available for students?
Unfortunately, we do not have dedicated buses or shuttles for MCoRE transportation. However, public transport options (such as the BUS and CatTracks) are available. Parents and guardians are also welcome to drop off and pick up students for each session. We will update our website and notify selected students if any additional options become available.
Will there be food at the sessions?
We will provide students with common snacks and drinks at each session. However, we encourage students to bring their own food, particularly if they have any dietary restrictions or allergies.