BUFFALO, N.Y. - Samendra Prasad, one of the University at
Buffalo’s Gifted Math Program (GMP) high-achieving 2013
graduates, will enter his freshman year at the University of
Virginia with seven years of college-level math education already
under his belt.
His accelerated progress is just another success story in the
GMP, a Graduate School of Education (GSE) program that has been
helping students in grades 7-12 get a head start in their college
careers since 1979.
The program offers qualified high school students the ability to
earn up to 16 college math credits by the time they graduate.
“Students in our program really learn what it means to
engage in mathematics,” says Deborah A. Moore-Russo,
co-director of the program and assistant professor in the
department of learning and instruction. “They are given
numerous opportunities to reason about and reflect on key
mathematical ideas. They learn how seemingly different concepts are
connected and how single concepts are often represented in a
variety of manners.”
The rewards of the program reach beyond accelerated study and
mentored research, according to Moore-Russo. The program encourages
students to think independently and learn how to communicate their
ideas more effectively.
Prasad’s involvement in the GMP began in 2006. Since then,
he has accumulated college credit and distinguished himself among
“The early years of GMP credit helped populate his college
transcript,” says Dheerendra Prasad, Samendra’s father.
“They were worth every penny since now Sam will ride free
through one of the top public universities in the U.S.”
Prasad will attend the University of Virginia as a Rodman
Scholar and recipient of the Jefferson Scholarship.
“I cannot stress enough how much this helped my
applications,” says Prasad. “It provided proof of a
studious lifestyle and an excellent talking point.”
Anne Izydorczak, PhD, GMP administrator, says the program helps
students to learn what it’s like to grapple with problems.
“Their thinking skills, time management skills, study and
reading skills are all developed,” says Izydorczak.
“In a sea of faces listing their AP exams and SAT scores,
I was able to talk to interviewers about my experiences with
college-level courses,” says Prasad.
“This is a rigorous curriculum well beyond what is offered
in high schools,” says Izydorczak. “Most [students]
rise to the challenge and come away with an understanding of their
own capabilities and a sense of accomplishment.”