"Them good ol' boys were teaching CTY
Sayin' 'This'll be the way that I die. . .'"
--Don McLean, as paraphrased by Mark Rubin

CTY stands for The Center for the Advancement of Academically Talented Youth, formerly known as OTID (The Office for Talent Identification and Development), now part of IAAY (Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth), which gives you a good idea why I and a lot of other people still call it CTY.

Yes, but what is it?

When people ask me what CTY actually is, I tell them "It's a summer school for gifted children, run by Johns Hopkins University, with sites all around the country. I teach math at a site in Lancaster, Pennsylvania." What I don't tell them is that it's a hell of a lot of fun and I taught there almost every year between 1986-96. Which sounds like a long time, but nowhere as long as Mike Brandstein. I doubt I'll ever have taught there as long as Mike. I'll never be as old as Mike, either, but that's another story.

Slightly more than you wanted to know

We of the Thundering Herd have many time-honored traditions, which is not to say that they are honorable, but have stood the test of time. Among these are the Scavenger Hunt, the Tri-Annual Pizza Eating Contest, and the Sumo Tournament. These comprise the coveted Triple Crown of the Thundering Herd. In recent years, the Scavenger Hunt has been replaced with the Rochambeau (Rock, Scissors, Paper) tournament. No one has yet won all three in the same year, although Mark Lucianovic has come close. We've also added the CTY Wedding Trophy, to be presented to each couple as they get married. As with all of our trophies, if you get your name on the trophy three times, it's officially retired and you get to keep it permanently.

For Further Reading

If you're looking to find out more about CTY, there's lots of stuff on the Web. There's the official CTY Home Page, Matthew Belmonte's CTY Etc. pages, Ari Rapkin's CTY Pages, and last but not least, the Mattababy Lair.

If you're interested in some teaching tips, you can check out my version of the precalc instructor's manual. Also look at Ari's Math Coordinator's Handbook. And hey, if you're one of my former students, please write to me, I'd love to hear from you and find out how you're doing.

A related resource is SET (Study of Exceptional Talent), also under the auspices of Johns Hopkins University. This organization provides general resources and support to gifted students. It melded recently with IAAY to form IAAY-SET, which if you ask me sounds like some sort of government conspiracy researched on the X-Files. But that's a good example of why people have stopped asking my opinion.

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last updated: 2/23/00