Transcript

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i’m daniel kim i’m a current first year student 
at yale university and i am currently studying

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remotely from home at new jersey i attended 
promys so promys stands for program in

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mathematics for young scientists and i attended 
over the summer between my junior and senior year

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promys is a summer program where around like 60 
first 60 60 students who are attending the program

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for the first time um it’s like generally 
9th through 12th but usually like around

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10th and 11th graders who stay campus so i 
think it’s usually boston university campus

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sort of like an intense math program where 
students go to lectures in the morning

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to like lectures on number theory in particular 
so promys is very focused on number theory so

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um essentially students attend lectures on number 
three in the morning then after the lecture they

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give a problem set where um it’s a series of like 
from easy to very hard problems that the students

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generally just tackle throughout the entire 
day and then turn in at the end to their uh

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like assigned counselor where each counselor 
looks over um a student’s submitted problem

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set and gives feedback on linkers their solutions 
and um any advice on like how they should tackle

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problems and generally this sort of process 
just repeats throughout the entire summer

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so promys is not for everybody in the sense 
that if you’re a student who’s not really who

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easily gets tired out from working on a like a 
math problem for hours um then i don’t promys

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it’s going to be pretty difficult to like kind of 
go through throughout the entire summer because

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every single day you’ll be working on problems for 
hours and hours with your friends and you gotta

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have that sort of like stamina or at least you 
know to make it most make it through most of it

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and it’s not really like a like high stakes sort 
of thing you can slack off if you want to but it’s

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sort of like like the atmosphere is sort of like 
oh we’re working on math problems with friends so

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um that’s so so in the sense like a word part of 
the program could be the worst for some people but

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honestly for me i didn’t i really i kind of enjoy 
like going through problems with my friends and

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like even if it’s hard even if the problems are 
hard sometimes i still think it’s a rewarding and

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fulfilling experience so um in terms like 
the best parts of the program i think that um

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it’s just like you get to meet it’s just 
like the people there like um everyone’s just

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not just math in particular but um 
they they like brought in so many um

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i guess diverse people from like all over the 
country and even from like other countries

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to work together for an entire summer and i 
think it’s just really cool because there’s

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a lot of freedom so i think the best part of the 
program is just the freedom for students to just

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you know it’s just it’s just lectures in the 
morning just like work on the prom set all day

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which means that you know even if you finish 
the prom set for the day you get to just hang

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out with your friends for like the rest of the 
day and it’s just really it’s just really fun

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so the dining isn’t like exactly like 
top-notch but it is pretty good um and

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so like in terms of like location i think the 
location is like excellent um we’re in boston

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so um in terms of like oh like social life you 
can there’s so many places in boston where you

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can just walk to um of course like you know don’t 
walk out late at night that’s like pretty obvious

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but i mean throughout the day you can just go with 
your friends to literally anywhere um and like

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just and then like you know while you’re working 
on problem sets usually you can just hang out in

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like lecture halls and like nearby like shopping 
malls or um other oh we couldn’t just walk to like

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harvard or mit if you wanted to have fun there the 
general structure of the program is that you know

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um they trust students to be very responsible 
and you know and and that’s how it that’s how it

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usually is for the entire course of the program 
is that you know there’s this trust of like you

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know students being responsible traveling around 
boston if they wanted to the housing i mean most

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people don’t really stay in their room all 
day because it’s it’s during the summer and

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it gets extremely hot and there’s not really 
air conditioning either so um if i need fans

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when i was looking for math programs um i was i 
was more curious into like diving delving into a

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specific subject in very in great detail so 
some other math programs like uh math camp i

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think canada usa math camp or um austin math or um 
sumac which is like the stanford math camp those

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camps like generally are like i think they’re like 
more they cover like a greater breadth of topics

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in math um but and but then other programs 
like promys and ross i think those two are

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the main those mainly those two um they delve 
into number theory in very like specific detail

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so that’s why i wan i was mainly 
looking at ross and promys

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when i was looking for math camps to go to 
and i think for those two camps in particular

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um i chose promys over ross because i really 
like the location of boston it was pretty close to

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where i live in new jersey too because ross 
is in like ohio or something and also i mean

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i had i mean i knew friends who also applied 
to promys and were thinking of going there so

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i guess entering the program you know i 
mainly just hear about this oh there’s so

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much like you know math and like all this like 
problem sets and stuff and like oh i thought

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it was going to be like pretty intense for math 
camp and i think in a sense it did like fulfill

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like that expectation mostly as in like oh you 
are like spending hours trying to crack these

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like difficult math problems but i think that 
um what some something that stood out to me

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more was like i’m sort of repeating it again 
but like just like the idea of just spending

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hours just like hanging out with your friends in 
the entire day um not too many classes um that’s

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like sort of like the unexpected freedom i guess 
from the camp is something that like i wasn’t

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i kind of like found to be different than without 
what i was thinking when i was going into it

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for me personally i think i do think it was worth 
the cost of like um like the whole like promys i

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think is it’s more just more than just like you 
know just like simple problems they give you

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everything i think it’s like the whole experience 
of like staying like staying at a residential

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program for um like six weeks i think i think um 
and you know that’s like the whole like bundle

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of like you know from lectures problem sets to 
like this overall like cohesive social atmosphere

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because like they’ll also have um because they 
they have like counselors who like try to make

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things pretty good socially wise and you know so 
they it’s like it’s just this general and then

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also the professors too but um i think all of that 
together it is worth the cost they also have like

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financial aid to accommodate like people of all 
financial situations they also have scholarships

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as well for um people of certain backgrounds the 
main priority is to allow anyone who is you know

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who they think is good for the program 
allow them to enter the program without

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you know any financial difficulties that’s 
that’s their main priority so don’t worry

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um i think there’s like they’re trying to 
make the opportunity as best as possible

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honestly i mean it’s very hard to kind of 
just point out what worked on my college app

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but when i applied to colleges i wanted to portray 
myself as like a problem solver in some sense like

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someone who really enjoys tackling heart 
problems and trying to you know think my

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way out of like difficult things in my path and 
i think that promys is a pretty clear indication

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of you know a student being able to you know spend 
hours tackling difficult problems like that kind

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of like perseverance and um and like determination 
to you know study one subject for a long time that

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is a pretty good indication like something that 
can like substantiate that part of my application

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when i when i started applying to colleges and 
also i mean some of my college interviewers

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they have a problem set i believe like 10 problems 
um uh don’t so you gotta so i think what i think

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is important is that in the application they’re 
looking for someone who is they’re trying to

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just see the way you think more than you know 
oh does he get the right answer or not does she

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get the right answer or not they’re not looking 
for like um they’re not necessarily looking for

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how many problems you get completely right on the 
problems that because i when i went to the program

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like um we talked about like oh like how do you 
think of the problem set application mom said

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people got like you know some people solved 
like half the problems some people solved all

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the problems all that matters is that you put 
a substantial amount of effort into the problem

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set your problem said don’t just write your 
solution but also write like um your thought

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process what’s your intuition behind going 
through some of the approaches that you made

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um and also if you fail to solve a problem at 
least like write down like your work i guess like

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your progress that you made for that problem in 
your essays you should also kind of um just try to

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like show that you are like you know hard-working 
student who really really really loves math

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they’re really looking for someone who can who is 
able to you know work on a single math problem for

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let’s say five hours you know like not everyone 
can do that but how you do on the application

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is definitely like a strong sign of like what 
you how do you do it promys itself they are

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definitely looking for people who can handle 
that because that’s what their program is about

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kind of recognize promys to so that was i mean 
maybe that helped i got to write some essays for

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about promys in my ass so that was good it 
gives it gives me more experiences to talk about