The Enrichment Mini-Courses Program is an annual activity in the first week of May. The participating academic institutions, which include the University of Ottawa, offer courses to students from grade 8 to 12 in Ontario and Secondary II to V in Québec. The students must have an excellent academic record and be selected by their school or school board.
The University of Ottawa offers a large selection of mini-courses. The list of possible subjects includes information technology, psychology, engineering, journalism, music and obviously mathematics. The mini-course in mathematics is entitle "Mathematics in our daily life" and is aimed a grade 8 and 9 students in Ontario, and Secondary II and III students in Québec. Many interesting mathematical topics are presented including their impact in our daily activities. For instance, in cryptography, students will learn some techniques to code text and decipher encrypted text. In graph theory, students will solve the problem of the seven bridges of Königsberg. In probability theory, students will learn how to estimate an unknown quantity using samples; one can estimate the value of &pi by throwing needles on the floor - This method is known as the "needle problem of Buffon".
Each mini-course lasts 25 hours; namely, 5 hours each day from Monday to Friday. Students are not officially evaluated but, at the end of the course, they receive a certificate of the University of Ottawa confirming their participation to the mini-course.
The participants to the Enrichment Mini-Courses Program at an academic institution like the University of Ottawa may win one of the two prices of the Enrichment Mini-Courses Program given each year by the academic institution.
For more information on the Enrichment Mini-Courses Program, please visit the official site of the program.