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Math, Music and Coding Camp

Department of Mathematics

Drexel's Math, Music and Coding Camp explores the use of Sonic Pi

Have you ever wondered why music sounds the way it does? Why are some combinations of notes pleasant while others are unpleasant? Or why do some sounds make us feel joyful and others melancholy?

Students in Drexel's Math, Music and Coding Camp will investigate these harmonic questions through the lens of mathematics. In this one-week, non-residential program, we’ll explore how math can help us make sense of different aspects of sound and music. Each day, students will apply musical and mathematical concepts using a coding platform called Sonic Pi, an open-source, live coding language for music creation and performance used by professional musicians, VR developers and programmers.

Drexel University's Math, Music and Coding summer camp will explore the use of the Sonic-pi coding platform.

July 18-22, 2022 | $1,200

Drexel's Math, Music and Coding Camp is designed for rising high school juniors and seniors who are thinking about pursuing a degree in Mathematics — regardless of their musical background! When it comes to your mathematical background, students will be expected to use algebra and trigonometry, but calculus is not a prerequisite.

Questions? Ask We look forward to hearing from you!

Program Schedule

Math, Music and Coding Camp will take place each day at the Korman Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a lunch break from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. provided by Drexel University. Each day we will explore different musical principles: acoustics, basic Western music theory, tuning systems, digital synthesis, sampling — and more! During the first half of the day students will explore theory, while the second half will be devoted to application.

Mathematical Foundations — 10:00-11:30 a.m.

We’ll start each day by looking at the mathematical principles relevant to the day’s topic. Some of this material may be familiar, such as basic trigonometry and algebra, and some of it will likely be new, like modular arithmetic.

Musical Foundations — 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Once we’ve got our mathematical tools in hand, we’ll see how they apply to the day’s musical topic. We’ll listen to examples, solve problems together in small teams, and analyze some of our favorite songs.

Lunch — 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Musical Foundations: A Deeper Dive — 1:30-2:00 p.m.

Applications — 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Students spend the last couple hours of each day applying everything they learned through coding in Sonic Pi. We’ll create beats, compose melodies, transform recorded sounds, build custom synthesizers and write algorithms to generate music.

Camp Technology

Students will use two types of free, open-source software: Sonic Pi and Audacity. These applications can be run on any Windows or Macintosh laptop. Students should bring their laptops, with the software already installed, to each session. We will reserve some time on the first day to make sure everyone is set up and ready to go.

What to Bring

Eligibility and Deadline

Drexel's Math, Music and Coding Camp is open to high school students who will be juniors or seniors in September of 2022. Students will be expected to use algebra and trigonometry, but calculus is not a prerequisite for the program. Applications for this in-person, non-residential camp will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning in April until all spaces are filled.

The deadline to apply is June 1, 2022.

COVID-19 Information

We hope to run Math, Music and Coding at Drexel University as planned, but we will follow all government guidelines that might cause us to cancel the program at any time. All tuition payments will be refunded in full in the event of any cancellations.

Program Director

Dimitrios Papadopoulos, PhD

Assistant Teaching Professor Dimitrios Papadopoulos, EdD, from the department of Mathematics will lead this summer adventure into math, music and coding. Dr. Papadopoulos has been teaching math at Drexel University since 2010 and has been playing music since he was in the second grade. With this camp, Dimitri combines his passions for mathematics, music, and using technology to learn and to explore both technical and artistic ideas. His goal is to get students excited about uncovering connections across disciplines and making some fun music along the way.