Is it possible to measure all possible integer lengths on a ruler without marking every integer on that ruler? This is an engaging and challenging problem for all. Beautiful mathematics can be revealed while delving deeper into this rich mathematical task.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the television show Futurama, Professor Farnsworth and Amy decide to try out their newly finished “Mind-Switcher” invention on themselves. When they try to switch back, they discover a key flaw in the machine’s design: it will not allow the same pair of bodies to be used in the machine more than once. Is there a way to restore their minds back to their original bodies?
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?
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?
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?
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.