We are a third generation IMACS family and believe strongly in this program. The IMACS curriculum enhanced in each of us the ability to problem-solve and think logically. My husband and I are grateful that our children had the opportunity to experience a different type of enrichment beyond sports, and now our grandkids love it too. IMACS pioneered rigorous computer programming classes for kids that were not available anywhere else that we knew of in the 90’s. With this foundation, two of my children went on to study Computer Science in college with one earning a PhD from MIT while the other became a software engineer.
The IMACS approach has benefited me and my family for nearly 60 years thanks to the unique curriculum and teaching techniques developed by my high school math teacher and IMACS co-founder, Burt Kaufman. Collaborative problem solving was unheard of in math classes back then, but Mr. Kaufman encouraged us to work together and expected excellence because he knew we were capable. He would be amazed that what he started is now available everywhere through the internet.
The name of the program may have changed throughout the years—just “gifted math” for me, MEGSSS for my eldest child, and IMACS for my younger kids and grandkids—but the dedication to supporting math talent and preparing students to be formidable thinkers and problem solvers has remained constant and true. That is why my husband and I highly recommend IMACS to any parent who wants their child to succeed in school and beyond.
IMACS Alumna, Parent, and Grandparent
IMACS Alumnus and UMASS Amherst Senior
The IMACS logic and computer science classes prepared me very well for the computer science program at UMASS Amherst. Since I was already familiar with formal mathematical proofs and predicate logic, I felt like I had a much smoother introduction to higher level classes on discrete math and algorithms and was able to grasp the material faster than my peers. In some of my assignments, I felt a nagging familiarity with certain topics until I realized I had already covered the material, way back in high school. Now that I’m in my final year of my degree and have a job in the field, I feel grateful that I had such a thorough and interesting introduction to logic, algorithms, and computer science principles through IMACS.
Our son, Joey, started taking the IMACS AP Computer Science A course at 11 years old. He had previously excelled in IMACS University Computer Science I and II, so I was dumbfounded when Joey began to struggle with AP CS A. After several communications with his instructor, who was very patient and reassuring, I came to understand that the IMACS AP course was not merely exam prep. It was also designed to stretch talented, young students and so was much more challenging than the exam itself. Lo and behold, at 12 years old, Joey took the AP Computer Science A exam and scored a 5. After the exam, he said “It wasn’t very hard.” Joey is now doing a pre-college summer program in machine learning in a university research lab. He shared with me that all those years in IMACS of working through programming errors taught him to persevere and not get frustrated. In fact, Joey is the fastest and reportedly best student in the lab, even though the others are five years older. A typical computer science curriculum would never have prepared him so well for this opportunity. Joey’s IMACS instructor was always extremely supportive and responsive, and these courses are an all-around win, particularly for gifted kids who are not sufficiently challenged in school.
IMACS Parent (photo of Joey)
My daughter, Apple, felt engaged into IMACS even in her placement class. I was surprised she told me she wanted to take IMACS in the middle of this first class. I am not really a math-person nor a good English speaker but I totally agreed with my daughter’s choice after watching her participate in this first class.
We feel very lucky that Apple and IMACS finally choose to go with each other. I was worried that she could not follow the native children in the live classes because she is an ESL student. But with all the friendly and dedicated help of IMACS, she is really enjoying it and never wants to miss class. Unlike other homework, she does all IMACS work by herself without parent’s help or reminders. I also see that she can try many ways to think and each time she got 3 or 4 stars on a worksheet she was super proud.
If I can compare a child’s successful academic career as a building, I believe that IMACS plays an important role and help my daughter build a solid foundation to grow as a great thinker. From my heart, I feel very appreciated this chance with IMACS. Highly recommend and I hope other kids can learn with IMACS!
Thanks to IMACS, I had a head start in mathematics and computer science in college. IMACS taught me complicated topics such as functional programming, object-oriented programming, algorithm time complexity, algorithm space complexity, and much more. More importantly, IMACS taught me to be an excellent problem solver. This helped me throughout my time at University of Massachusetts Amherst where I earned a BS in Computer Science, a BS in Math with a Statistics and Data Science Concentration, and a BA in Philosophy. I’m excited to start on my next adventure at Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Computational Data Science program. The IMACS advantage is real. IMACS is what sparked my interest and allowed me to dive so deep at such a young age. To this day, I still benefit from IMACS. Thank you for the excellent education.
IMACS Alumnus and Carnegie Mellon Graduate Student
Over the past 20 years, my three sons attended IMACS math and computer science classes. Thanks to IMACS my oldest son became an outstanding student in middle school, breezed through high school, and all the accompanying standardized testing. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, worked at a successful startup as a software engineer, and then started his first company and is now starting his second. IMACS has been the gift my husband and I gave our children that keeps on giving! Thank you, IMACS, for enabling parents to give their children an education that can help them soar!
I want to thank you for the many years of dedication to my kids’ and now my grandkids’ education. Finding IMACS in the early 90’s was what saved my son’s education. He was lost in the education system and needed a greater challenge. IMACS was the answer. The critical thinking and logic skills that he learned at IMACS kept his mind stimulated, and your computer science classes created excitement and involvement for him. The benefits of IMACS spilled over into school where he became more engaged. My daughter also attended and followed in her brother’s footsteps. Both received a wonderful foundation for advanced education and motivation thanks to the lifelong thinking skills that IMACS develops. I now have grandkids–a 1st and 3rd grader–attending IMACS, and both are reaping the rewards. I am so pleased to have discovered IMACS early on and to see the life-changing impact your classes have had on two generations of my family. Thank you!
I listened to your recent podcast interview and needed to introduce you to a future IMACS student, my son James! Although he is almost 15 months now, I cannot wait for him to start taking IMACS classes! I loved IMACS classes and I know they helped me get to where I am today, structural analyst for gas turbine engines. Thank you and all of the IMACS team members for your priceless support, knowledge, and enthusiasm.
Georgia Tech MS, Johns Hopkins BS, and IMACS Alumna
We brought our daughter, Shannon, to IMACS when she was about 5 years old. During the initial assessment, the instructor winked at me and said “she’s got it.” Shannon was immediately enrolled at IMACS and completed the entire mathematics program.
Fast forward a bunch of years, Shannon graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas HS and began her college studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Shannon completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering while also a member of the University’s softball team.
Shannon interned with Northrup Grumman during the summer before her senior year of college and was immediately hired upon graduation. Today, Shannon is an Aerospace Engineer assigned to Northrup Grumman’s Antares space vehicle platform where she works on the cryogenic propulsion team. Our little girl is a real life ‘Rocket Scientist.’
There is no doubt that Shannon’s experience at IMACS significantly contributed to her success in the STEM field.
As parents, we wish to thank IMACS for helping our daughter shoot for the stars and achieve her dream.
We are so lucky that we discovered the IMACS program. My son, who has always enjoyed math and brain games, is really engage in his live sessions and is appropriately challenged by the weekly homework. I believe the skills that he is building in logical reasoning, critical thinking, and number relations are going to set him up for success with more advanced mathematical concepts. It seems to be a very expertly designed program and so different than anything else we have come across in our exploration of math enrichment programs. Thank you, IMACS!
Miroslav Rai Simcik
We enrolled our profoundly gifted daughters in September 2021 for IMACS Math Enrichment, not fully knowing everything about it or the long term benefits. We looked at the reviews from the past students who are now adults who swore by its benefits. While our children are still in their first year with IMACS, we can categorically say that they are having the best time.
The course is helping our children develop a sharper logical mind and hone their problem-solving skills. The children have so much fun doing the assignments and they look forward to doing it each week. So much so, that our younger child completes her homework and pre-coursework at the very start of the week and then mid-week has a massive craving for IMACS and has to logon to double-check that she has in fact completed her homework, because she wants to do more IMACS so badly. Sometimes she is disappointed in herself for being greedy at the start of the week and completing all her IMACS assignments already!
One time, our older child needed to move the lesson to another day due to planned social engagements, but decided to do the harder thing and keep the lesson on her usual day since she enjoys learning at just the right pace with her teacher. This is a compliment to the teaching style of the teachers, their ability to adapt lessons and the hard work they put in.
As parents, despite the time zone difference between the US and Europe, we find it easy to reach out to the IMACS team to discuss any questions or clarifications we may have and if the lessons need minor adjustments, the team is always willing to discuss promptly. This is something we appreciate very much.
My 7-yr old has been with IMACS for a few months. With a global pandemic and schools being online, IMACS could not have come to us at a more perfect time. They have, as well as many others, adapted to an online platform and I must say they have excelled and succeeded in being top-notch. They keep their online classes very interactive, never redundant, and always allowing my son to take something productive at the end of each class. As many children may not be progressing academically, my son has flourished despite this new “normal”. Not only is he gaining academic skills, he is also honestly enjoying each class. It’s a definite win-win!! If you are looking to enrich, enhance, supplement, and/or challenge your children, I would highly recommend IMACS. You will not be disappointed.
Karen de Saint Phalle
Just wanted to say THANK YOU for existing. You were a first mover in the space. We found you at a time when there was very little to nothing available for kids curricularly in computer science. And it was an interest and strong curiosity for Claire way back then, and I was grateful to be able to ignite that interest through your program. She was just accepted at Carnegie Mellon University and is looking forward to continuing her CS studies there next year!
I want to express my deepest appreciation for the IMACS program. My kids continue to excel at math, and while my kids may not acknowledge it, I know for a fact that IMACS has been a big part of their success. All three of them have received high scores on their standardized tests! Many thanks for making this program available!
In my first year at Yale everybody in my dorm was asking me questions about math proofs that seemed to me to be completely routine, and I remember asking myself how they could have studied so long and yet know so little. Thank you IMACS for any such giving a great preparation for college!
Heavily recruited by all top universities and chose to attend Yale
“IMACS taught me to simultaneously think critically and creatively, imbuing me with skills that assisted me throughout high school and played a fundamental role in my decision to pursue data analysis at Princeton University.”
IMACS Alumnus and Princeton University student
An MIT degree says to the world that you are capable of complex problem solving and abstract thinking. IMACS gave me a jumpstart on my MIT education, as it taught me to exercise the same parts of my mind that I use now on a daily basis.
IMACS and MIT Alumna
This IMACS blog post is by guest author and EMF Math student, Vievie Romanelli. Vievie recently sent us the following letter via email and kindly agreed to let us share it with our blog readers.
“I’m writing to let you know that EMF has been an incredibly important part of my intellectual growth. It’s given me the tools to understand serious math, and it’s encouraged me to be curious about it.”
… “I realized once again how unusual of an opportunity I’ve had to see the beautiful and creative side of math, beyond the formulas most people are limited to.”
IMACS Alumna and Tufts University Student
Alumna Krisztina Tolotti was a top student in the EMF Math program at her public middle school. Upon completing EMF, Krisztina sent IMACS the following email highlighting the significant advantages that she gained learning math the EMF way.
“Thank you so much for such an amazing math program that I am honored to be a part of. Over these last years, the IMACS programs always (and still do) mean a lot to me, and taught me what math truly is about. What I find funny is that whenever I get asked what kind of math I am doing, I always have a hard time explaining”…
IMACS alumna Naomi Spargo sent the following email at the end of her first semester at Carnegie Mellon University. She details the ways in which her IMACS background in mathematical logic, proof-writing, and functional programming propelled her to research and teaching assistant opportunities in only her freshman year at computer science powerhouse CMU.
“I’m delighted to inform you that your IMACS courses have been even more helpful than I previously expected! During my first semester at CMU, I’ve become extremely interested in type theory and it’s applications to computer science.”…
IMACS Alumna and Carnegie Mellon Student
“Self-paced, online programs such as Elements of Mathematics: Foundations from IMACS are uniquely suited to adequately challenge the mathematically gifted,” shares Arvinder. “Our son loves EMF as it allows him to accelerate at his own pace and level up accordingly.”
As Shiva’s mom put it beautifully, “An important part of what we do has to do with ‘the journey’. The journey has not been delegated. The fondest part is that we are traveling on this journey together. We are constantly amazed at how far a child can go when allowed to freely pursue a passion-centric learning approach. It’s been a joy to see Shiva surprise us every day with out-of-the-box solutions. We are very grateful for all that we are learning together as a family because we often satisfy curiosities rather than march to fulfill an external mandate or to earn a grade.”
Abed loves math. From his early years we noticed his love for numbers and his logical reasoning. We’ve always wanted him to be immersed in a rich challenging experience. We’ve been searching for a while. We found some platforms that offer content according to the grade level. That wasn’t our request. Then we found the amazing online math enrichment program called IMACS. Abed tried their online class and loved it. I appreciate that they offer interactive live sessions and that the students are enrolled based on a placement class not their grade level. I’m so glad that Abed will be part of this professional e-learning program.
IMACS alumna Anna Cai, a Texas resident and now parent herself, was thrilled that her daughter would now have the IMACS experience. “IMACS was enough to save me from all the boredom of school,” says Anna who went on to earn a PhD in Economics. “Even though IMACS is just a few hours a week, it was so stimulating that I was fine sitting in my regular school classroom, doing whatever else.”
Economics PhD, IMACS Alumna and Parent
… One of the things that was really important to me was to make sure my kids had a strong foundation in math and computer science. Fortunately, I have the advantage that I learned the IMACS curriculum when I was in middle school and high school. This made it easy for me to teach these subjects because I’d already experienced first-hand what a top-tier math and CS education looks like.
IMACS Alumnus and Parent
“EMF truly is an amazing program. (No, I’m not saying this just because; I mean it with all my heart.) Looking back at the last three years, I am grateful for the opportunity to have participated in EMF. Unquestionably, I have grown from when I was a 6th grader just starting EMF. This rigorous program has expanded my knowledge about the world of mathematics, stimulated my brain cells, boosted my confidence level, and let me grow as a student”…
IMACS and EMF Alumna
“I probably would have been completely bored in math all through middle school if I had not been in EMF.”
EMF Alumnus Cole Travers wrote the following guest blog post, in which he compares EMF with a traditional high school math class and explains why EMF was excellent preparation for college.
“Throughout my three years in EMF, I got to learn mathematics in the way that a mathematician understands it. Now that I am in 9th grade and in a traditional math class, I can compare this experience to my EMF experience.
The main difference is that EMF focused on the why of math, while traditional classes focus on the how of math.”
IMACS and EMF Alumnus
Alumnus Andrei Chekmasov completed the EMF Math program during grades 6-8 . As a 10th grader, he wrote the following guest blog post, EMF is More Than just a High Level Math Course, in which he describes the unique opportunities made available to him because he is an EMF graduate…
“Many would consider me lucky. I was born in a family that values mathematics highly, tutoring me in advanced concepts at a younger age than other students.”
EMF Alumnus, EMF Tutor, Student
My peers at college were very intelligent, but they struggled with real university math classes. I’m so glad that I had the right foundation. Thank you, IMACS!
IMACS Graduate of University-Level Programs