Category: Math Circle

Uniqueness of Factorization
A few days ago I came across a proof of the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic (aka Unique Factorization) in Courant and Robbin’s What is MathematicsÂ that I hadn’t seen it before. I liked it enough to learn it. Then another surprise – I saw it again yesterday in Primes and Programming by Peter Giblin, a book…

A brief 4,000 year history of Diophantine Equations
I filled in for a NY Math Circle class over the weekend. Since the topic was Primitive Pythagorean Triples, I had a blast. I also shared the following outline with the students. Each item is full of wonderful mathematics and anecdotes! Plimpton 322, a Babylonian cuneiform tablet @ Columbia University. From 1900BCE – 1600BCE, and…

AP Classes Are a Scam
I heard about the following Atlantic article from @stevenstrogatz : October 13th, AP Classes Are a Scam which I found quite interesting. I thought much the same in those years when I taught a lot of freshman Calculus. My main observations were that Most students who had taken AP Calculus in High School had to…

Remembering Mr. Geller
I first met Mr. Geller in the mid80s when I was a high school student. My Stuyvesant math team friends snuck me into the math team practice one morning, and Mr. Geller was the math team coach. Although he enjoyed a reputation for being quite strict, he made an exception in my case and I…

Gathering 4 Gardner
This year’s G4G, or Gathering for Gardner, Celebration of Mind II, falls on Friday, October 21. This is the second G4G since Martin Gardner passed away on May 22, 2010, and the G4G is intended to celebrate his life and work. You can find a nearby celebration here: http://www.g4gcom.org/

Bard Math Festival Resources
One of my greatest accomplishments in the 20102011 school year was to organize the Bard Math Festival and the Pi Day Celebration with my MAT math students and my colleague Ben BlumSmith. Each of the MAT students (we call them “candidates”) selected several possible math activities, and an ongoing activity over each quarter was refining…

Teachers’ Math Circle Talk at Math Fest
Photo Credit: Rusty Rogers I’m excited to announce that I’ll present the demonstration Teachers’ Math Circle Class at MathFest! For those not in the know, MathFest is the biggest and best national summer math conference, organized by the Math Association of America (MAA). There will be many activities sponsored by the Special Interest Group on Math Circles…

Always be Prepared
Back in April, I wrote about Math Circles and Safety, and a large part was inspired by Brandy Wieger’s presentation at the Math Circles on the Road 2011 conference in Houston. You can now watch her talk here: This is one of the videos recently posted by The National Association of Math Circles. Check out…

Jim and Nim
I presented my talk “Jim and Nim” yesterday at the Bard Math Seminar, and managed to fill the house. My introduction actually extended over two days, as I visited math and CS classes on Wednesday and Thursday and personally invited students to my talk. This was really fun, and I got to meet some of…

Bard Math Circle in the News (bring your kids!)
Dear Friends, The Bard Math Circle made the front page of today’s Daily Freeman with a story about our math outreach activities at the Kingston Library. COUNTING ON FUN: Math Circle at Kingston Library takes middle school kids beyond boring basics (video) (Monday, January 17, 2011) http://dailyfreeman.com/articles/2011/01/17/news/doc4d33674c5f430298712442.txt The Bard Math Circle meets twice per month at the Kingston…