Montana Tech Awarded Funds to Host Create Math Program


Montana Tech Mathematical Sciences faculty members, Dr. Laurie Battle, Dr. Hilary Smith Risser, and Ms. Becky Johnson, have been awarded $4,100 from the Tensor Women and Mathematics Grants through the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) to organize a summer mathematics program for girls.


“We are pleased that the MAA is helping to support our Create Math program at Montana Tech,” explained Dr. Laurie Battle. “This will provide local middle school girls exposure to a college campus and to creative applications of mathematics beyond the standard school curriculum.”

This is the second year in a row that Montana Tech has received funding to host the Create Math program. This year’s program will host 25 middle school girls from southwest Montana in a two-week summer workshop on mathematics in music. The overarching goal of the project is to heighten enthusiasm for mathematics among the young women participating in the program. Young women currently in grades 6-8 will be eligible to participate.  No previous experience with music is required.  

The first week, the girls enrolled in the program will learn the mathematics behind music compositions. Local musicians will perform during lunch, followed by a discussion between the participants and the musicians. The musicians will share their experiences with mathematics related to music. During the second week, the participants will apply their knowledge from the first week by writing original music compositions. During the second week, the girls will also have an opportunity to learn about musical and other careers that use mathematics. On the final day of the program, the girls will be able to invite their parents, teachers, and other guests to a music day. The participants and guest musicians will perform or play recordings of their compositions.

The Create Math Program on the campus of Montana Tech from June 16th through June 26th with a lively two-day follow-up in July during the Montana Folk Festival. Applications are available from Dr. Laurie Battle at or 406-496-4857 and will be distributed through math teachers in area schools.