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Math Sessions

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Mary Beth Richey, Mary Plumb
Developed as part of the Math Circles of Inquiry project, this five to six day activity is designed to help students understand trigonometric ratios, by building on their understanding of similar triangles and ratios of corresponding sides.
Japheth Wood, Paul Ellis, Samuel Coskey
Are there more fractions than counting numbers? Surprisingly, an investigation into binary notation can help us answer this question! This session explores the binary number system. Participants will investigate Hyperbinary numbers, create a Fraction Tree, and discover connections between them.
Catherine Pullin Lane, Lynne Pachnowski
The game of Tic-Tac-Toe has roots going back centuries. Grid-style game boards have been found in Ancient Egypt, during the Roman Empire, and in our current age on restaurant placemats. Multiple avenues of exploration are possible with this simple children's game. A related game called “Gobblet Gobblers” takes Tic-Tac-Toe to a whole new level!
Chris Bolognese, Emily Dennett
College students need to be matched with a roommate. They each make a list of who they prefer to room with. Given the preference lists for each individual, can we find a matching that is stable? That is, would any pair ask to change rooms because they would rather room together than with their current roommates? Explorations lead to new questions or new avenues to investigate using various mathematical methods including, but not limited to, combinatorics, graph theory, or matrices.
Alicia Pakusch, Rachel Pellegrino
You want this year’s dance to be LIT! The dance committee has a goal of fundraising $3,500 through ticket sales. How many tickets do they need to sell? Developed as part of the Math Circles of Inquiry project, this module presents an engaging problem which will allow students to investigate how to graph and solve a system of inequalities.
Caitlin Colburn, Mary Losito, Math Circles of Inquiry
Developed as part of the Math Circles of Inquiry project, this session is aimed at grades 7 or 8, but may be useful for high school algebra. It consists of worksheets and series of videos meant to get students to develop an understanding of solving linear equations, using the real world example of distributing M&Ms into jars.
Michael Nakamaye
After studying James Tanton’s MTC session about bicycle tracks, avid bicyclist Michael Nakamaye started questioning the mathematics behind how a bike works. How do gears work? How many teeth are there usually on the different gears? Why? How is a bike like a ratio machine?
Brianna Donaldson
SET is a fun game that can be enjoyed by kids as young as 6 and is challenging even for adults. It is rich in counting problems and is great for getting people to pose problems. It is also an example of a finite geometry and interesting to explore how well one's geometric intuition works.
Craig Collins, Cynthia Kramer, Elizabeth Donovan
How many different ways are there to make change for a dollar? As mathematicians we often search for patterns in a problem. However, for this problem, there is no simple, predictable pattern to build to an answer, encouraging participants to reach outside their comfort zones and ponder alternative strategies in order to make progress.
Elizabeth Livorsi, Maureen Aguglia, Sara MacKenzie
Developed as part of the Math Circles of Inquiry project, this module is an introductory activity for rational numbers, likely aligned with Grade 7. Students will be given five points on a number line and will be asked to estimate the values of each in a 3-part task and explain their reasoning. The activity is designed to have students then fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide these rational numbers and justify the placement of their solutions on the number line.