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 MathematicsĀ 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… Continue reading Uniqueness of Factorization

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… Continue reading A brief 4,000 year history of Diophantine Equations

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… Continue reading AP Classes Are a Scam

Remembering Mr. Geller

I first met Mr. Geller in the mid-80s 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… Continue reading Remembering Mr. Geller

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.g4g-com.org/

Bard Math Festival Resources

One of my greatest accomplishments in the 2010-2011 school year was to organize the Bard Math Festival and the Pi Day Celebration with my MAT math students and my colleague Ben Blum-Smith. Each of the MAT students (we call them “candidates”) selected several possible math activities, and an ongoing activity over each quarter was refining… Continue reading Bard Math Festival Resources

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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… Continue reading Teachers’ Math Circle Talk at Math Fest

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… Continue reading Always be Prepared

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’s… Continue reading Jim and Nim

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… Continue reading Bard Math Circle in the News (bring your kids!)