Joyful Math Jamborees
Meets once a week in the evenings (announced a week ahead)
Audience: For anyone ages 12 & up!
Description: Sessions will delve into engaging problems with connections to deep mathematical concepts. Teachers will be able to engage first-hand with the math through discussion and breakout groups.
May 19th, 2020
Many ancient civilizations had number systems that were very different from the Hindu-Arabic, base-ten number system that we use today. The ancient Egyptians had unique ways of multiplying, dividing, and representing fractions, and they were able to do mathematics complicated enough to build the pyramids. Led by guest presenter Dr. Priya Prasad, Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas at San Antonio, we will explore this alternate number system by putting ourselves in the shoes of the ancient Egyptians.
Out of One, Many
Adventures in Pile Splitting
May 27th, 2020
Take a pile of nine pebbles or nine coins or nine cucumbers (you can’t use zucchini!) and split them into two piles. Then split each of those piles into two piles. Keep doing this until you have nine piles each with one object.
What could be astounding about such a process? A scary, tremendous amount of astonishing mathematical stuff! Dr. James Tanton of the MAA and Global Math Project will help us explore that mathematics together.
May 4th, 2020
In grade school you may have learned to use division to convert fractions into decimals, and you may have even learned to use algebra to convert repeating decimals into fractions. But you’ve never seen decimals like these before! Discover the strange, surprising secrets of wacky decimals.
Dr. Cody Patterson of Texas State University will discuss some of the fun number theory and algebra ideas that connect fractions and decimals, and you’ll have the chance to create and play with some wacky decimals of your own!
Pigeonholes, Shaking Hands, & Kevin Bacon
Intro Ramsey Theory
April 27th, 2020
Ramsey Theory, named for Frank P. Ramsey, is a branch of mathematics that studies the conditions under which order must appear. Problems in Ramsey theory ask a question of the form: how many elements must there be in a set to guarantee that a particular property will hold? An example of this is the Pigeonhole Principle: How many holes do you need to know that if you have n pigeons, two of them share a hole?
In this session, Dr. Adriana Salerno of Bates College will lead us as we play around with the Pigeonhole principle, the hand-shake problem, and other cool Ramsey Theory examples!