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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.
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
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.
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.
Matt Roscoe
Quilts are a familiar set of cultural artifacts for many people. Quilts also happen to be beautifully mathematical. “What sorts of symmetries can a quilt block possess?” Participants will design and examine quilt blocks, and develop a taxonomy of symmetry in order to compare the blocks according to the symmetries, both present and absent.
David Patrick
Mathematicians have long been fascinated by prime numbers and a great deal of number theory revolves around the study of primes. Develop a deeper understanding of these intriguing numbers by exploring the questions presented in this session.
Christopher Woodward
Pick’s Theorem is the relationship between the area of a polygon, the number of geoboard nails (or lattice points) inside the polygon, and the number of nails on the boundary. Participants will try to identify the formula and explain strategies for justifying it. After listing the number of ways of making change for twenty cents using pennies, nickels and dimes, can you find a connection between this activity and Pick’s formula?