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Math Sessions

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Anne Ho
We adapt “Parable of the Polygons” (Vi Hart and Nicky Case), an online simulation on diversity and segregation, into an appropriate MTC session. The session is interactive, and offers multiple layers of content depending on the age and comfort level of students with conversations on social issues.
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.
Judith Covington
A pentagonal tiling is a tiling of the plane where each individual piece is in the shape of a pentagon. The plane cannot be tiled with regular pentagons. However, are there any convex pentagons that can tile the plane? This session explores various pentagons and their tiling abilities.
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.
Gene Abrams
A Mad Veterinarian has created three animal transmogrifying machines… While grappling with the posed questions, players will explore a set of problems, figuring out how and if the machines can complete a given transformation. Connections can be made to invariants, abstract algebra, graph theory, and Leavitt path algebra.
Joshua Zucker
Imagine that all the numbers from 1 to 100 inclusive are written on the blackboard. At every stage, you are allowed to erase two numbers that appear on the board (let’s call the numbers you erased x and y) and in place of the two erased numbers, write the number x+y +xy. Repeat this operation until only a single number remains. What are the possible values for that remaining number?
Caitlin Colburn, Mary Losito
Developed as part of the Math Circles of Inquiry project, this session is a good introduction to the 8th grade or Algebra Math curriculum using inquiry based instruction. Every time the Supreme Court justices get together, everyone shakes hands with each other. How many total handshakes will take place at one gathering?
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.
Amy Myers
A simplex lock is a type of combination door lock that involves pushing-in buttons. Given the set of rules for using a 5-button simplex lock, how many different combinations are there?